Oscars: Cannes Winner 'White God' is Hungary's Best Foreign Film Entry

Courtesy of Festival de Cannes
"White God"

Kornel Mundruczo's film about mongrels dumped on the street won Un Certain Regard at the French festival earlier this year.

A pitiless story of a war between man and dog, Kornel Mundruczo's Cannes award-winning White God (Feher Isten) is Hungary's official entry for best foreign film in the this year's Academy Awards.

The film, which wowed jurors and critics on the Croisette in May when it won sidebar section Un Certain Regard, is, Hungary's international film promotion body FilmUnio says, "a cautionary tale between a superior species and its disgraced inferior. Outcast and betrayed … man’s 'best friend' rebels against its former master."

The film's simple but profound idea sets the stage for a gripping story.

When a new law puts a costly tax on mongrels, owners of mixed breed mutts dump their pets on the streets. A pretty, 13-year-old girl, Lili, desperately fights to protect her beloved pet, Hagen, but eventually her father sets the dog free on the streets.

Lili's desperate search for Hagen ends in failure as the dog, unused to life on the streets, struggles to survive. Eventually Hagen understands that not everyone loves him like Lili does and he joins a pack of strays.

Abandoned, unloved and discarded, the mongrel dogs seek merciless revenge on the masters they had trusted with their lives. And Lili is probably the only one of her race who can stop the war between man and dog.

The film, which had its theatrical release in Hungary in June and is being represented for world sales by The Match Factory, was selected on Wednesday for the Academy Awards by Hungary's Oscar selection committee, consisting of screenwriter Reka Divinyi, director Krisztina Deak, film fund head Agnes Havas, academic Andras Balint Kovacs, editor Istvan Kiraly, screenwriter Balazs Lovas, cinematographer Tibor Mate, producer Peter Miskolczi and government film commissioner and U.S. producer Andrew G. Vajna.

The 87th Academy Awards take place on February 22, 2015.