My Dog Killer (SIFF 2013)

This was a bleak, drab film about a rough day in the life of a young man named Marek. It is difficult for me to summarize the plot, as I felt it was very broken up and disjointed. I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters, not even to Marek. I never felt as though I understood his motivations or goals, and so I could never understand his widely varying actions throughout the slowly paced movie. In the end, it seems that nothing has changed. And if that was the point, well then, there you go. Sometimes things don’t change. But if you’re going to make a movie about how things don’t change, at least make the movie interesting, or heart-wrenching, or something.

Provided Film Synopsis
Unfolding over the course of a single day, Mira Fornay’s sophomore effort tells a disturbing tale of family shame and ethnic conflict. 18-year-old Marek lives with his father in a vineyard on the Slovak-Moravian border. When he’s not training his pit bull, Killer, Marek usually spends his time with the local skinheads—being trained himself. His family has other plans for him today. Things have gotten so bad at the vineyard, that his father must sell their other property, which requires the signature of his estranged wife - Marek’s mother - who abandoned the family in disgrace years before. Since no one in the family wants to see her, Marek is assigned the task of meeting her in town with the contracts. But when he gets to town, he discovers that she has brought his half-brother with her. As Marek wrestles with his situation, Fornay maintains an observational style, allowing the audience to reach their own understanding of the unpleasant nature of Marek’s dilemma. She combines this approach with authentic locations, a non- professional cast (including local skinheads), and strategically placed radio newscasts and music, to give My Dog Killer a documentary feel that makes Marek’s choices all the more heartbreaking.

Movie Details

  • Directed By:

    • Mira Fornay
  • Cast Members:

    • Adam Mihál
    • Irena Bendová
    • Libor Filo
    • Marián Kuruc
  • Countries:

    • Slovakia
  • Languages:

    • Slovak
  • Genres:

    • Drama