Kornel Mundruczo



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Kornel Mundruczo (Hungary, 1975)

Johanna (2005) is a musical based on the story of Joan of Arc.

Feher Isten/ White God (2014) is an allegorical fairy tale (that turns into horror movie) about street dogs that are expelled from society and even sentenced to die but eventually rise up against their oppressors. It is also an allegory about love and hate, a bout a society that teaches hatred (whether through greed, school discipline or failed marriages) instead of love. The message of the film is a bit too optimistic: that love can tame the hatred because the ones who hate are fundamentally good.

A 13-year old girl is biking through the deserted streets of the city when suddenly a large pack of dogs starts chasing her. It feels like a nightmare. Then she is playing with a dog in a park, filmed by a hand-held camera. Then we move into a laboratory where an animal is being dissected, with gory displays of blood. Specialists are examining whether the meat is suitable for consumption. The oldest one, presumably the boss, walks into the bathroom and can't wipe off a blood stain from his shirt. His assistant hands him a present for his daughter. The parents drive the girl of the bike to the office of this "professor". The girl has to stay with the professor, her biological father, because her mother is going to Australia for a while, and the girl decided to take her dog with her. She is not happy to see the man, and he is not happy to see her dog. In fact, he tries to leave the dog with a friend. Lili, though, is so attached to the dog, Hagen, that she even wants to sleep in the bed with it. Not only the father is not excited about having a dog in the house, but there are new regulations against street dogs. A neighbor immediately reports the dog to the authorities, and an officer shows up to slap a fine on the man. People are sending their dogs to "shelters" in order to avoid paying the fine. She even takes the dog to a music class, where he starts barking. The teacher is upset but she prefers to leave with the dog than be separated from it. Her father loses his patience and dumps the dog in the street after locking Lili in the car. The dog, Hagen, runs in vain after the car, and Lili screams in vain. The following morning Hagen wakes up alone and begins learning the harsh facts of street life: looking for water and food, avoiding cars, etc. Hagen is puzzled when it finds the carcass of a street dog. Hagen is almost killed when it enters a butcher's shop in search of food. From the top of a hill Hagen watches as the shelter guards chase and capture street dogs, and barely escapes being captured itself. Hagen tries to make friends with a homeless man but even this tramp abuses it: he puts a leash around Hagen and sells it to a man who chains it with many other dogs for sale in a filthy room. Meanwhile, the father forces Lili to apologize to the teacher and join the music class again. But then she gets on the bicycle and rides around town looking for it and posting notes about it around town. Hagen is purchased by what looks like a nice man but he turns out to be a sadist who keeps it in a cage and tortures it scientifically. The purpose is to make a great fighter out of it for lucrative dog fights. Hagen kills the first dog it fights, but then stares at the corpse. When the lights go out, Hagen runs away. Meanwhile, Lili is still roaming the streets of the city, even if someone stole her bicycle. One night she begs an older boy to take her to a party, and he asks her to put drugs in her pocket so the bouncer will not find it. But the police arrests her. Her father now understands how painful it was for her to lose her dog. Hagen now lives in the streets and eventually he is captured by the guards of the shelter. Lili makes peace with her father and prepares for the symphonic concert conducted by her teacher. At the same time Hagen is sentenced to be killed, but Hagen kills the guard and frees the other dogs. A large pack of dogs now streams into the streets, attacking unsuspecting humans. They head straight for the symphony hall where Lili is playing. They surround the audience and start barking furiously. People panic. The city is locked down. Nobody is in the streets. Lily borrows her friend's bicycle and looks for Hagen. She is the only person in the streets (the scene that opened the film). The dogs attack her. She falls from the bike but they run past her. Hagen tracks down the man who tortured it. The man is mauled by Hagen and hundreds of dogs. Now it is dark and the town is under curfew. Lili is still biking around town, the only one not to be afraid despite all the dead people lying around. The police corners the dogs into a tunnel and shoots them one by one, but Hagen is still free and killing those who were mean to it. Lily's father begs her in vain to take shelter. She retorts that he, not she, is in danger. Hagen finally finds Lily. Lily tries to talk to it but Hagen just stares at her. And all the dogs line up after Hagen, ready to attack. Her father comes to her rescue with fire. Lily grabs her trumpet and starts playing. The dogs shut up, Hagen sits down, all the dogs sit down.
(Copyright © 2015 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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