You don’t need to be a dog-lover to appreciate White God, in fact it may open your eyes to the atrocities faced by abandoned dogs and, just like the news, expose you yet again to the cruelness of human nature.
Sombre teenager Lili (Zsofia Psotta) is sent to live with her father after her mother leaves town. She arrives with her mixed breed chocolate Labrador, Hagen, who her father despises immediately. It’s hard enough trying to understand the will of a young girl let alone her inseparable relationship with a dog. But he reluctantly accepts them both into his tiny flat.
After Lili tries to sneak the dog into band practice and is caught by the teacher, she is thrown out of the class. Lili’s father is incensed and on the journey home, he throws Hagen out of the car leaving Lili devastated and faced with reality of life without Hagen. Now Hagen must fend for himself as he hits the streets looking for any scrap of food and shelter to aid his survival.
White God is pensive in delivering a vision of abandonment and while the first quarter of the film is from a human’s perspective, displaying the bond between a girl and her loyal pet, we’re thrust into a scenario that is beyond return and told through a dog’s eyes.
Like many dog films such as Cujo and The Pack, White God is a dog vengeance film. Dogs suddenly seek out revenge against mankind who have in turn been exposed for their pitiful ways. There’s also a sociological slant, mixed breed dogs are a metaphor for ethnic minorities as the dogs experience inequality and discrimination. As the saying goes, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, part and parcel of capitalism and globalisation which is oddly depicted through Hagen’s story.
With the realism comes contrived comedy. As the rabid dogs hunt their former owners and lurk around corners, you can’t help but laugh at these lovable dogs, now think Black Sheep. Then there are the incredible action scenes where hundreds of dogs gallop through the city with images of warring and revolt as the police get ready to pursue the rioting dogs.
White God is an empathetic film which like many others before its time has demonstrated just how cruel and stupid human kind is. It’s a constant reminder of the damage we do to others, nature and ourselves, but yet it confirms how we continue to destroy the world we live in.
White God is out on March 27th catch it whilst you can.