"They're not after meat" whispers 13-year-old Lili (Zsofia Psotta) into her cell phone to her father as she crouches down near the mangled body of a butcher in White God, a rousing creature-feature thriller and political allegory, from Hungarian director Kornel Mundrucz.
The winner of the Prix du Certain Regard prize at Cannes last year, White God features startling scene of an army of stray dogs (more than 250 dogs were used, and CGI) that takes over the streets of Budapest. The movie follows two parallel stories: one is of Lili, an adolescent struggling to deal with arbitrary authority, the loss of her pet and to find her voice, through a trumpet.
The other story is of her former pet, Haden, unfolds like a combination of The Birds and Spartacus, Haden, is a big mixed-breed dog (played by brothers, Body and Luke), who Lili's father abandoned on the roadside rather than pay the state-imposed mongrel tax. His transformation from pet to killer, through abusive animal shelters and a brutal gambler who trains him as a fighting dog, is hackle-raising in its intensity.