Thursday, August 27, 2015

White God

The dog Hagan in the film White God looks remarkably like my last dog, Daphne. That is not the only reason why I loved White God, a Hungarian drama about stray dogs that mount a revolution against humans who’ve mistreated them. Hagan’s resemblance to Daphne actually made it more heartbreaking for me to watch the film. Daphne passed away in March 2013. But in December of that year my family adopted Matilda. In her own way, Matilda is as precious as Daphne.

Luckily, my familiarity with dog behavior helped me see the reality behind the simulated scenes. I recognized the playful body language in scenes in which the dogs were supposed to be engaged in bloodthirsty fighting. I ordinarily hate any inaccuracies that will break my reverie while watching a film, but these reminders that it was just a movie helped put my anxiety to rest. No dogs were harmed during the filming of White God. It’s a moral film about the indestructible love between a girl and her dog and a call for people to treat animals with more respect.

Since I’m living in Istanbul now, a city crawling with stray cats and dogs, I can imagine a massive dog revolution unfurling here. I love dogs and they seem to sense that in me, so I think if the dogs rise up while I’m living here, my life will be spared. A lot of other people should try getting on dogs’ good side . . . before it’s too late.

Happy National Dog Day. I missed it yesterday so I’m celebrating a day late.