The Hungarian director returns to Cannes with a tale about superior species and disgraced breeds. 13-year-old Lili's dog is her best friend. A law imposes a heavy tax on crossbreeds, favouring dogs with rare pedigrees. So Lili decides to fight to keep her dog, but her father decides to abandon it on the street. The two friends try their hardest to find each other again but Lili loses heart. Realising that man is perhaps no longer really their best friend, the dogs graduallly start rebelling against humanity. Kornél Mundruczó tells us more about this visionary tale.
Kornél Mundruczó © Marcell Rév
Can you tell us how you got the idea for Fehér Isten (White God)?
The project was unexpected. I worked on another script or a few years and then I wanted to do something quick to feel free again. I had an idea and wondered whether it would be posible to make a film about a dog. My inspiration came from J.M. Coetzee and his book Disgrace which had a profound impact on me. But the film gradually became a bigger project, although we still tried to keep the same free spirit that we started out with.
Do you have a story from filming?
It goes without saying that filming with dogs is a fascinating experience. When I saw 200 dogs running alongside humans, I was astounded by the beauty of these two species alongside one another.
Can you tell us about your next project?
I have a few ideas in mind. We have floated the idea of adapting Vladimir Sorokin's trilogy: Ice, and we have already worked on a script. I have been intrigued by this work for years. There are also some Hungarian short stories that I would like to adapt.
What genre of cinema has influenced you?
Obvioiusly, it would be easy for me to give you a list of films that are masterpieces. Even if it is not always reflected in my films, the work of Fassbinder has been a huge inspiration for me.
Interview by Hannah Benayoun
Saturday 17th May / Debussy Theatre / 4.30 p.m.
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