Featuring heart-rending scenes of Hungarian child gymnasts being tortured by a fiendish coach, White Palms is a gritty sports drama that reveals the huge costs behind the glory of the Olympics. Directed by Hungarian writer-director Szabolcs Hajdu, the movie flits between Olympic gymnast Dongo's melancholic adult life as a coach in Canada and his painful childhood in communist Hungary in the 1980s. Dongo (played by the director's real-life gymnast brother Miklos Zoltan Hajdu), the coach of Canadian Olympic hopeful Kyle (played by Olympic medallist Kyle Shewfelt), decides to challenge himself by competing against his protege in a world championship in Hungary. The narrative about coaching is interspersed with flashbacks of his joyless childhood and his first job as a teenage trapeze artist with a circus. The scenes where Dongo's coach strikes him for minor mistakes in a dreary gymnasium are painful to watch. The end scenes alternate between his final sprint towards the vault in the championship and his first death-defying trapeze act. Instead of the uplifting spirit typical of most movies about sports heroes, the film ends with a reminder of the grim realities of sporting life.