Friday, January 23, 2009

White Dog

USA 1982

After hitting a German shepherd with her car, young actress Julie (Kristy McNichol) adopts it and nurses it back to health. When she discovers that her pet has been trained to viciously attack black people, she convinces dog trainer Keys (Paul Winfield) to try to cure the animal. Samuel Fuller directs this controversial, chilling drama based on Romain Gary's 1970 memoir, Chien Blanc. Burl Ives co-stars.

Ha, PG rating. Hilariously erroneous according to the MPAA's standards not only now mostly, but even then. This film is great. The director really knows how to shoot. Samuel Fuller's ability to envision such transitions places a smooth current of tension right down your back. Simply controversially nerve racking, especially if you have ever been attacked by a dog. The film is based off of true events, but of course as an elaboration. There is a blatant and very strong racial social commentary of imprinting prejudice beliefs on attack dogs. The lead actor, is the woman who hits the dog and takes it in as her pet unbeknown to her that the dog is a "White Dog". Which is a coined colloquial term for a dog trained to attack African-Americans. Once the dog attacks one of her co workers whom is a black woman she is forced to consider her options of either killing the dog or reconditioning the dog. She then finds a man who trains exotic animals and who has a past with trying to recondition "white dogs". Yeah, he's black and hella awesome. Failing to recondition his past attempts at previous "white dogs", he then takes the matter of resetting the conditioning of hatred in the abused domesticated animal, very personally and passionately. The controversial premise is really showing how ignorant and vain the ego of humankind can be. How our species cruelly molds an animal to their prejudices. And how you can't take the bite out of an afflicted killer. And the price others pay, merely being innocent bystanders caught in the unflinchingly ferocious grips of an emotionless monster bent on destroying them.

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