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‘Give them some more time’: the ends of sacrifice in White God

Turner, Lynn. 2017. '‘Give them some more time’: the ends of sacrifice in White God'. In: Out of Time, SLSA annual conference. Arizona State University, United States 9-12 November 2017. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

Not just one among other slaughtermen, the father figure in Kornél Mundruczó’s 2015 film White God, is an abattoir inspector. It is he who decides what is ‘good to eat’. His judgement is thus firmly aligned with symbolic law above and beyond simple edibility, if there is such a thing. Yet at the film’s concluding scene, in the theatrical space of a courtyard flanked by abattoir buildings in a eugenically inflamed Budapest, he surrenders this power of decision or law making. This surrender is not entirely volitional but is the lesson inspired by the actions of his daughter, the lead human figure in a film otherwise dramatized by dogs. Facing a vast band of dogs, now violently aligned against all humans, the young girl realises her erstwhile exceptional status has run it course: music will no more calm the beasts and ‘fetch’ is a risible game that will no longer play. Lying down on the same plane as the dogs, the girl vacates her human verticality. Observing the scene from the abattoir balcony, her father hesitates. In the face of a panicking worker’s plea for protection, he says no, don't call the police yet. “Give them some more time”.

Through the prism of this extraordinary film, this paper will consider the possibility of revolution, the end of sacrifice and the gift of time.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures

Dates:

DateEvent
29 June 2017Accepted
9 November 2017Published

Event Location:

Arizona State University, United States

Date range:

9-12 November 2017

Item ID:

20611

Date Deposited:

30 Jun 2017 10:48

Last Modified:

27 Mar 2019 16:04

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/20611

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