- In Retrospect
Lili’s parents are divorced. When her mother has to leave town for a longer period of time, the thirteen-year-old moves to her father. Namely, with her smart dog Hagen, whom Lili’s father only reluctantly tolerates in his apartment. When the neighbour complains about the cross-breed, the building administration consequently charges her father for owning a pet and Lili loses her spot in the youth orchestra because of the animal, he finally throws the dog out. Thus, the girl’s search for her dog begins, while he is looking for her, too. What sounds like an innocent Lassie story, soon develops into an animalistic revenge thriller. Hagen’s odyssey, which confronts him more and more with the cruelty of human beings, ends in the uprising of him and his fellow conspecifics against their tormentors. Kornél Mundruczó’s moving as well as biting movie is metaphorically multi-faceted. It is no coincidence that the background of the plot is an authoritarian regime and an increasingly intolerant society. However, the film perfectly works without interpretations at all, too, and contains, furthermore, scenes that rank among the most powerful ones of this cinematic year. The actual stars of this production, the cross-breed brothers Body and Luke from Arizona, were strongly supported by 250 dogs from Hungarian animal shelters. Unbelievable but true: This is not an animation, it is genuinely real.
Kornél Mundruczó, Viktória Petrányi, Kata Wébe
Zsófia Psotta, Sándor Zsótér, Lili Horváth, Szabolcs Thurócz, Lili Monori
Opening Film, Feature Film Competition
Hungary, Germany, Sweden 2014
Hungarian, English, engl. subtitles