A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits the town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
Late one night, a beautiful and well-dressed young woman, Grace, arrives in the mountainous old mining town of Dogville as a fugitive; following the sound of gunshots in the distance which have been heard by Tom, the self-appointed moral spokesman for the town. Persuaded by Tom, the town agree to hide Grace, and in return she freely helps the locals. However, when the Sheriff from a neighbouring town posts a Missing notice, advertising a reward for revealing her whereabouts, the townsfolk require a better deal from Grace, in return for their silence; and when the Sheriff returns some weeks later with a Wanted poster, even though the citizens know her to be innocent of the false charges against her, the town's sense of goodness takes a sinister turn and the price of Grace's freedom becomes a workload and treatment akin to that of a slave. But Grace has a deadly secret that the townsfolk will eventually encounter. Written by
The first film in Lars von Trier's third trilogy series titled "USA - Land of Opportunities". The two other parts are Manderlay (2005) and Wasington, which, as of August 2017, still hasn't been made. See more »
Many continuity issues (hats on/off in alternating shots etc) are entirely deliberate. There are a large number of quick cuts throughout the film which serve to disorientate and confuse the viewer. The continuity in these cases is never precise and is as much a part of the final film as the script. See more »
This is the sad tale of the township of Dogville. Dogville was in the Rocky Mountains in the US of A, up here where the road came to its definitive end, near the entrance to the old abandoned silver mine. The residents of Dogville were good honest folks, and they liked their township. And while a sentimental soul from the East Coast had once dubbed their main street Elm Street, though no elm had ever cast its shadow in Dogville, they saw no reason to change anything. Most of the ...
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Closing credits play over photographs depicting crime and poverty in the United States. See more »
Dogville is long, and if you don't have the patience for a slow ramp-up of tension, it'll turn you right off. There are a couple story devices Von Trier uses that really bugged me, and I almost shut it off once. I'm glad I stuck with him, though, because he really took it somewhere and I came away really enjoying the experience..
Critics who hated Dogville talk about it's hamhanded anti-American slant (Lars von Trier refuses ever to set foot in that country). I knew nothing about this film or Von Trier before seeing it and I have to say I entirely missed the anti-America thing until the backcredits. Don't get me wrong, there are several scenes that make commentary about rampant nationalism, prejudice towards immigrants and small town xenophobia, but those comments could be made about the zealous in ANY region of ANY nation at ANY time.
If we are to criticize 21-st Century America, and there are plenty of reasons to criticize it, we must also criticize other peoples and governments who are screwing up royally. I think if Dogville has a point to make to America, its not that it is uniquely problematic, but that it is as problematic as any other nation. Where on this planet can you NOT find a group of people who think:
THE WORLD WOULD BE A BETTER PLACE IF EVERYONE WAS JUST LIKE US.
That statement is the kernel of failure for every major conqueror and every major religion in history and it portends the long, inevitable swirl down the toilet and the people who want you toppled have only to sit back and watch you do it to yourself.
America is a great nation, with a lot of culture, history and art to be proud of, and maybe that's why modern artists feel the need to make pieces like Dogville. To remind America that, as great as it is, it's still a nation of crying, barfing, excreting, whining, greedy, worried, scared mouths to feed, just like the rest of us -- no better or worse.
That's all I think Dogville does as an anti-American piece. If Von Trier meant to just poo on America, he missed his mark and ended up making a point about all of us. Regardless, he among many others wants America to change it's mind about itself, and it doesn't matter if he hates it or loves it. Much more interesting to me is the blatantly obvious point Dogville makes -- to what point do you forgive the transgressions upon you by others who may be less fortunate but are nonetheless doing wrong? It sure made me take a look at my own pacifism.
Nicole Kidman was brilliant, as was Paul Bettany and the simpler townsfolk who will play so skillfully with your emotions. It seems I've been flooded with Kidman movies regularly for a couple weeks now and this is my favourite of her performances.
Good film, Dogville.
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