Set in a small fictional town in the U.S. during the 1930s, Lars von Trier’s Dogville was filmed in a studio with a minimal set and features narration by John Hurt. On the run from a group of gangsters, Grace (Nicole Kidman) arrives in the small mining town of Dogville. Town philosopher Tom Edison (Paul Bettany) takes her in and strikes a deal with her: She’ll work for the townsfolk in exchange for a safe place to hide; after two weeks the people will vote for her to either stay or go. Grace agrees to the terms and ends up meeting the locals, including the town doctor (Philip Baker Hall), shopkeeper (Lauren Bacall), and apple farmer (Stellan Skarsgård). Eventually, Grace’s standing in the town takes a downward shift as the search for her intensifies.
Danish enfant terrible Lars von Trier has throughout his career made a habit of throwing ‘the cat amongst the pigeons’ of the European arthouse scene and beyond. As co-founder of the purist Dogme 95 movement, whose films were known for their bleak worldview and controversial subject matter, von Triers films have always thrived on the tension between chaos and control, where he’s sought to defy and disrupt what he regards as conformist norms of filmmaking. His deeply confrontational films – and his equally provocative public persona – have been both greatly admired and fervently debated and challenge audiences both emotionally and psychologically. His visually poetic cinema puts to celluloid a haunting, troubling vision of the human condition.
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, Lauren Bacall, Ben Gazzara, Jean-Marc Barr, James Caan
Drama, MisdaadLand: Denemarken, Groot-Brittannië, Frankrijk
Speelduur: 178 minuten