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White Palms (Ws Sub)
White Palms
Ws Sub
Actors: Orion Radies, Silas Radies, Zoltán Miklos Hajdu, Gheorghe Dinica
Director: Szabolcs Hajdu
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Sports
UR     2007     1hr 40min

Having suffered as a boy under a brutal Communist-era coach, champion Hungarian gymnast Miklos moves to Canada years later in search of a new start, only to find himself unwittingly perpetuating the very same cycle of abu...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Orion Radies, Silas Radies, Zoltán Miklos Hajdu, Gheorghe Dinica
Director: Szabolcs Hajdu
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Sports
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Olympics
Studio: Strand Releasing
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/11/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, Hungarian
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

An Athletic Abused Career
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 09/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

""White Palms"

An Athletic Abused Career

Amos Lassen

Coming soon from Strand Releasing is a beautiful Hungarian film. "White Palms" about a professional gymnast who has a promising career but whose life is taken over by the Hungarian government. Because Dongo had been raised with the utmost care and the prospect of entering the world of athletics, he had nowhere to turn when the government fell. His only alternative was to take a teaching position out of the country, in Canada.
This is a touching movie about an athlete trying to face his talent, his environment and his own faults. This is not a movie about sports, it is about life and we learn that in order for one to face his faults is to go on to the next challenge and try once more. Dongo had been trained from childhood to become an athlete and it is easy to see how his personality was formed. His childhood trainings were cruel, his family situation was not good and he grew up in a socialist environment. We follow him and his challenges through his childhood in Hungary and then as a young adult in Canada where he trains a whole new generation and then tries his own luck again. Once you are caught up in the action you will not be able to relax again until long after the film has ended.
The movie shows in depth the traditions in both the East and the West for the training of athletes. The movie is based upon autobiographical elements involving the brother of director Szabolcs Hajdu and his brother also stars in the film. The film brings us an idea of what a gold medal gymnast must go through when he is trained under a brutal government regime and then later has to adapt to a very different way of life in the free world. As a boy Dongo received little mercy when he was at the hands of his trainer suffering physical abuse for the slightest infraction of a rule. His parents were both authoritarian and distant and they forced their son to perform at every opportunity. One day when he arrived late for practice he decided to run away rather than face chastisement.
During the sequences shot in Canada we are also made aware of the shortcomings of Western culture. Because there was no means of discipline for unruly students, teachers were forced to deal with rudeness and laziness. When Dongo made friends with another young athlete, he got the opportunity to look at the world differently and begins to find himself.
The movie is extremely tense and that tension is skillfully built into the plot of the film. The use of real gymnasts gives the movie a feel of reality and it is in effect part documentary and part drama. Isolation is emphasized by the use of color. The movie is filled with emotion and the contrasts of the eastern world and the western world are dynamic in every aspect.
I found one scene to be extremely moving. When Dongo as a grown instructor strikes a young Canadian athlete he is training, everything seems to fall into place. The reaction of the child's' parents makes a very strong statement.
The effort and detail capturing child abuse and then conveying it to the audience is what makes this film so special and a movie that must be seen.
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