Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Women to Watch: Anna Różalska of Match&Spark Management Women to Watch: Anna Różalska of Match&Spark Management Women to Watch: Actress and Filmmaker Ahd Kamel Women to Watch: Actress and Filmmaker Ahd Kamel Exclusive: Alfonso Cuarón & Alejandro G. Iñárritu Endorse Emiliano Rocha Minter's 'We Are The Flesh' Exclusive: Alfonso Cuarón & Alejandro G. Iñárritu Endorse Emiliano Rocha Minter's 'We Are The Flesh' Sundance Review: Moving Doc 'We Are X' Chronicles the Tragic Story of Japan's Biggest & Boldest Band Sundance Review: Moving Doc 'We Are X' Chronicles the Tragic Story of Japan's Biggest & Boldest Band Sundance ’16: Lebanese Comedy ‘Halal Love (and Sex)’ is a Hilarious Discovery from Razor Film Sundance ’16: Lebanese Comedy ‘Halal Love (and Sex)’ is a Hilarious Discovery from Razor Film Sundance Review: Why Culturally Sensitive Road Trip Dramedy 'Mr. Pig' is Diego Luna's Best Film Yet Sundance Review: Why Culturally Sensitive Road Trip Dramedy 'Mr. Pig' is Diego Luna's Best Film Yet Sundance Institute Announces New Merata Mita Fellowship for Indigenous Artists and 2016 Recipient Sundance Institute Announces New Merata Mita Fellowship for Indigenous Artists and 2016 Recipient Sundance Review: The Daniels' Heartfelt 'Swiss Army Man' is a Zany Existentialist Buddy Comedy Sundance Review: The Daniels' Heartfelt 'Swiss Army Man' is a Zany Existentialist Buddy Comedy How GKIDS Shook the Oscar Animated Race with First Latin American Nominee and a New Ghibli Hit How GKIDS Shook the Oscar Animated Race with First Latin American Nominee and a New Ghibli Hit Kosovo Gets First Oscar Nomination with Short Film 'Shok' Kosovo Gets First Oscar Nomination with Short Film 'Shok' 'The Boy and the Beast' Dir. Mamoru Hosoda on Shared Fatherhood & Why His Films Deal with Two Worlds 'The Boy and the Beast' Dir. Mamoru Hosoda on Shared Fatherhood & Why His Films Deal with Two Worlds 7 Latin American and Latino-Themed Films Vying for an Oscar Nomination 7 Latin American and Latino-Themed Films Vying for an Oscar Nomination Charlie Kaufman on the Meaning Behind 'Anomalisa' at PSIFF: 'See the film' Charlie Kaufman on the Meaning Behind 'Anomalisa' at PSIFF: 'See the film' 'Ixcanul' Director Jayro Bustamante on the Strength of Mayan Women & Guatemala's Indigenous Majority 'Ixcanul' Director Jayro Bustamante on the Strength of Mayan Women & Guatemala's Indigenous Majority Review: Why Alê Abreu's Sublime 'Boy and the World' is the Best Animated Film of the Year                                                Review: Why Alê Abreu's Sublime 'Boy and the World' is the Best Animated Film of the Year Romania 's 'The Chosen One' Marks the Beginning of the 2015 Golden Globes® Campaigns Romania 's 'The Chosen One' Marks the Beginning of the 2015 Golden Globes® Campaigns LatinoBuzz: Actress Kate del Castillo on Premios Platino and Working in Her Native Language LatinoBuzz: Actress Kate del Castillo on Premios Platino and Working in Her Native Language 30 Essential Iranian Films to Watch in Honor of Nowruz (Persian New Year)! 30 Essential Iranian Films to Watch in Honor of Nowruz (Persian New Year)! LatinoBuzz: Interview with Elvis Nolasco from ABC's 'American Crime' LatinoBuzz: Interview with Elvis Nolasco from ABC's 'American Crime' Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - Europe Part 1 Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - Europe Part 1

Foreign Oscar Entry Review: My Dog Killer (Môj pes Killer)

Photo of Carlos Aguilar By Carlos Aguilar | SydneysBuzz November 12, 2013 at 4:24PM

My Dog Killer, Slovakia's Submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award Nomination. U.S. : None Yet. International Sales Agent: M-Appeal World Sales UG
1
Mira Fornay's 'My Dog Killer'
Mira Fornay's 'My Dog Killer'

My Dog Killer, Slovakia's Submission for the Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. U.S. : None Yet. International Sales Agent: M-Appeal World Sales UG


From an outsider's perspective it is not so easy to detect and comprehend the social interactions between the people of a foreign country. It is only when looked at from an intimate point of view that the conflicts and their unspoken rules come to the surface. And it is definitely more interesting and insightful to look at how an issue affects the daily lives of individuals than how is dealt with on paper by those in power. With such intention is how Mira Fornay explores the ethnic disputes in Slovakia, where still today gypsies are considered undesirable members of society, and in the tradition of former Nazi leaders, they are also blamed for the decline of the country's economy. In her film My Dog Killer minimal occurrences convey stronger concerns without the need of explosive depictions of violence.

Chosen as the guide for this trip into the Slovak rural landscape is Marek (Adam Mihál), a young man with a shaved head, pale, almost-albino skin and penetrating eyes, which is introduced via a long take that concisely summarizes his universe. Dutifully he helps his father (Marián Kuruc) take care of a rustic vineyard, which is their livelihood as they sell homemade wine to their neighbors. Marek's only companion is his pit bull appropriately named Killer. More than a pet he is his protector, best friend, and ultimately his accomplice in a despicable crime. Just getting by financially, Marek's father urges him to get the property deed of their apartment from his mother (Irena Bendová) to sell it and keep their land. He is not fund of the idea since his mother was forced to leave him when he was a young boy because she got involved with gypsy man, with whom she had a child named Luka (Libor Filo). Young Luka wants his  brother in his life, and the mother wants her other son too, but in a place ruled by tradition, their lives cannot merge.

My Dog Killer

Malek’s life is fractured due prejudices outside of his control. Time and time again he must prove he is part of the majority and is coerced to dissociate himself from his mother and his mixed-race half brother. He seeks validation from a local gang of skinheads that don’t accept him as an equal, but who only tolerate his presence  because of the image they think the dog provides them with. He is neither good nor evil, but he must protect himself even if that means to lack empathy for the lives of others Mihál's performance is unsettling and effective in portraying this ghostly young man disillusioned by the hatred around him. Fornay created a quiet character that exudes anger and that identifies himself with the feared prowess of his dog. As the climatic sequence of the film unfolds, one can see the animal attacks by instinct, and not purposely to inflict pain. In the same manner Malek must destroy the evidence of his unforgivable wrongdoing in an act of self-preservation.

Hidden in the background of this bleakly captivating character study are hints of a reality of resentment and discrimination that pushes many to the outskirts of society. The director intelligently places the story in a small village where secrets and gossip are difficult to escape. Therefore, even though it's clear Marek wants his mother in his life, the stigma, and her involuntary abandonment keep him away. My Dog Killer exposes the moral discrepancies between the political correct front that modern Western societies pretend to adhere by and the disturbing realty that lies underneath. Fornay uses inconspicuous TV broadcasts and casual conversations among the townspeople to speak of the Slovak past and of the dangers that segregation and ill-intentioned nationalism can produce. Intriguing and thought provoking, this is a film from a promising new director about uncomfortable truths that need to be exposed.

Read more about all the 76 Best Foreign Language Film Submission for the 2014 Academy Awards


This article is related to: My Dog Killer , Mira Fornay, Adam Mihal, Slovakia , Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award , Best Foreign Language Film Oscar , Academy Awards, Oscar Academy Award, International Film Business, International Film Festival, International Sales Agent, International Film Market

E-Mail Updates