White Palms

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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 abuse among his own pupils. Redemption appears in the unlikely form of Kyle, a troubled, young Canadian teen with the potential to become a world champion. The friendship and rivalry between teacher and student - each played by actual gymnasts (one, Kyle Shewfelt, an Olympic medallist) - forms the basis of this gripping, resonant sports drama. Beautifully shot and edited, effortlessly evoking its respective time-periods, and through them, the clash of different cultures and values, WHITE PALMS made its international premiere in Directors' Fortnight at Cannes 2006 and was the official Hungarian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award.

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times

    The term "sports film" doesn't do justice to the director Szabolcs Hajdu's movie White Palms, a punishing, beautiful drama.

  • 75

    TV Guide Maitland McDonagh

    The film's climax, which cuts back and forth between the 16-year-old Dongo (Silas Radies, whose younger brother plays Dongo as a ten year old) making his dangerous debut with the f...

  • 70

    Variety Eddie Cockrell

    An uncommonly resonant sports drama in which a talented yet troubled gymnast comes to terms with a turbulent past.

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