Institute History

  • 2015 Sundance Film Festival


Distinguished director Kornél Mundruczó has crafted an imaginative and strikingly visceral journey of an abandoned mutt's descent from man's best friend to rebellious threat—rightfully earning plaudits at Cannes, including the Un Certain Regard prize, as well as the Palm Dog for the best four-legged performance that is deeply moving and, at times, harrowing.

A steep new tax has been imposed on owners of dogs of mixed breeds. This is unfortunate for precocious, sweet-natured young Lili and her beloved pet Hagen, who have been dumped on her estranged father's doorstep by his ex-wife. Unable to handle the increased strain on his life, he eventually discards Hagen on the side of the road in an impulsive act of desperation. Hagen and Lili's search to re-unite is fraught with harrowing obstacles and sinister consequences.

Displaying impressive technical mastery and total command of tone, Mundruczó shifts perspectives and techniques with ease, as the film turns from an optimistic, touching adventure to a violent tale of vengeance. From its highly stylized, evocative, and nightmarish opening frames depicting an invading army of canines rampaging the empty streets of Budapest in snarling pursuit of a young girl racing away on her bike, White God unleashes a gripping, unconventional narrative with deep emotional nuance and sweeping directorial vision. —L.Z.

— Landon Zakheim

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]