A cautionary tale about our 'superiority' over 'lesser beasts'...
A seemingly harmless measure that aims to make dog-breeding more disciplined in Hungary kicks off a series of extraordinary events. Favoring pedigree and purebred dogs, the new regulation places a severe tax on those who own mixed breeds -- so owners begin to dump their mongrels and shelters quickly become overcrowded.
This new set of laws has real consequences, especially for 13-year-old Lili (Zsófia Psotta), who's already a pawn in her parent's bitter divorce. Lili can't understand why her dog, Hagen, is now somehow less than other dogs, nor can she comprehend why her father (Sándor Zsóstár) won't simply pay the tax on her beloved companion. Instead, her father, in a fit of rage, abandons Hagen on the streets. Heartbroken, Lili hates her father for making her betray her beloved companion; still innocently believing that love can win over any difficulty, Lili sets out to find her dog and save him.
Meanwhile, Hagen, too, searches desperately to return home to Lili; struggling to survive, Hagen soon learns that not everyone is a dog’s best friend. Wandering the streets, the former housepet falls into a series of dangerous situations. He must flee dogcatchers; he is exploited by a crafty beggar; he even becomes the prisoner of a dog fighting trainer. Hagen is soon back on the street where he joins a pack of stray dogs.
Weeks later, Lili begins to accept the fact that she may never be reunited with Hagen. She is bitterly disappointed, but she tries to focus on preparations for her orchestra’s annual concert so she can reconcile with her father and enjoy the life of a normal teenager.
When Hagen is captured and sent to the pound, his future seems more dismal than ever. He and the other dogs seize an opportunity to escape and revolt against mankind. Their revenge will be merciless -- and courageous Lili may be the only person who can halt this unexpected war between man and dog.
THOMAS HUHN and
GÁBOR TÉNI and
Animal coordinator /
TERESA ANN MILLER
Hungarian lead trainer:
Make-up / hair supervisor:
LUKE & BODY
“The first thing to be said about this film, is that THERE’S NEVER BEEN ANYTHING QUITE LIKE IT. The whole production speaks well for the power of film; IT’S A SERIOUS STUNNER.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
“IT’S SOMETHING TO SEE, AND NOT QUITE LIKE ANYTHING ELSE.” – A.O. Scott, NY Times
“A REVENGE FANTASY THAT’S LIKE NOTHING YOU’VE SEEN ON SCREEN BEFORE. FIERCE AND BEAUTIFUL A series of soaring, astonishingly choreographed scenes. – Manohla Dargis, NY Times
“AS DELIRIOUSLY UNCLASSIFIABLE AS IT IS EXPERTLY FOCUSED IN ITS DESIRE TO PROVOKE AND ENTERTAIN. Powerful, breathtaking and emotionally complex.” – Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
“I CANNOT SAY ENOUGH ABOUT THIS EXTRAORDINARY FILM. WILDLY EXHILARATING.” – Dennis Dermody, Paper
“THE GREAT THING ABOUT THE FILM IS THAT THE MORE YOU COMMAND IT TO SIT AND STAY, THE MORE IT SLIPS ITS LEASH AND RUNS AMOK.” – Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
“WILDLY INVENTIVE, ENGAGING, EXCITING AND MEMORABLE. The climatic uprising is thrilling, satisfying, nondigital and extremely well prepared.” – Stuart Klawans, The Nation
“THIS IS THE NEW GOLD STANDARD FOR NATURE-BITES-BACK MOVIES. A+ direction, and the dogs are better actors than half this year’s Oscar nominees.” – David Edelstein, New York
“REMARKABLE. Tender, Harrowing and heartbreaking. THE FINAL SCENE IS AS TRANSCENDANT AS ANYTHING I’VE EVER SEEN IN THE MOVIES.” – Amy Taubin, Art Forum
“RIVETING with astonishing canine performances.” – Farran Smith Nehme, NY Post
“FOUR STARS. POWERFUL - GENUINELY IMPRESSIVE. It features the Al Pacino of dog actors.” – Cath Clarke, Time Out
“AWESOME. One of our favorite movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.” – Forrest Wickman, Slate
“SOME OF THE MOST EXCITING AND UNEXPECTED ACTION SEQUENCES THAT I HAVE SEEN IN A LONG TIME. Far more satisfying that the last over-budgeted chapter of Planet of the Apes.” – David D’Arcy, ArtInfo
“A BRAVE AND TANTALIZING MOVIE.” – Max Nelson, Film Comment