Hungaria-Romania Doc ‘Whose dog am I?’ Defines a new breed of social satire
The surprisingly complex world of puppy politics is becoming the unlikely breeding ground for a new satire produced by Hungarian company Other Films and Romanian production powerhouse microFILM, the companies announced this week at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.
“Whose dog am I?” Is a docu-comedy essay on politics in a world where citizens are dogs, politicians are their breeders, and the highest international forum is the World Canine Organization. It is a film on Great Politics through the politics of the dog world.
“Whose dog am I?” Is directed by Robert Lakatos and produced by Hungarian Rita Balogh and Romanians Alecu and Ada Solomon, whose Bucharest-based microFILM has produced critically acclaimed films, including Berlin’s Golden Bear winner Radu Jude “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn” and Calin Peter Netzer’s Golden Bear winner “Child Pose”.
Lakatos said Variety the film was inspired by his genuine efforts to breed a successor to his aging Hungarian Sheepdog, a process that has been thwarted by the complex rules and regulations that govern the world of dog breeding.
“Little by little, I discovered that human politics were reflected in the politics of dog breeding,” said the director. “Almost all problems in human society, like nationalism, racism, misogyny, exploitation, migration issues, minority issues, etc., you can also find them in dog society and dog politics. ‘dog breeding, but in a more brutal way. “
Lakatos is a Romanian citizen who is also a member of that country’s Hungarian ethnic minority, a population of 1.5 million who has chosen not to assimilate or emigrate but to preserve their unique cultural identity.
This fact, said Alecu and Ada Solomon, makes “Whose dog am I? “A Hungarian-Romanian co-production born naturally and necessary, in those parts of the world still so petrified in a chauvinistic mentality.”
“The film shows – in a fun, surprising and self-ironic way – how we project our identity issues and insecurities onto our beloved pets,” they said. “Much of today’s global conflicts are motivated by these fears of losing one’s own identity and claim to regain it. The film shows the absurdity of this quest for purity and manages to make us think – laughing heartily – about who we are, like a mixture of different “races”.
Balogh is the founder of Other Films, based in Budapest, and co-founder of the Budapest International Documentary Festival. Regarding the collaboration with her Romanian co-producers, she said that “it is fruitful to work together, even on subjects as delicate and difficult as ours”.
“I believe in building bridges and seeing things from different angles, although these days that attitude alone means provocation, because many tend to be so engrossed in ideologies that they forget that it is. there are also people on the other side, ”she said.
“How do you talk about these issues at a time when it is getting harder and harder for many to see the big picture? Telling a heartwarming story about dogs, with a lot of humor, seemed like the right way. I think we desperately need accessible and enjoyable documentaries, also on serious subjects. “
Lakatos’ previous films have been screened at festivals such as Karlovy Vary, IDFA, DOK Leipzig and Visions du Reel. With “Whose Dog Am I?” He said he was looking for a unique and distinctive way to tackle the political issues of the day while avoiding the destructive conflicts that have become a dominant part of current discourse around the world.
“I prefer to avoid fights,” he said. “So I thought that talking about them in this ironic and comical way, through the metaphor of dog policy, might be the right way to point out some issues, without hurting anyone.”
“We thought Robert’s peculiar humor, his peculiar way of playing and piecing together serious issues in a whimsical, whimsical style, would yield a satirical gem that can ‘energize’ the current isolationist and nationalist discourse coming from both sides,” added the Solomons.