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4.1
12,414 Ratings

Dogville

Directed by Lars von Trier
Denmark, Sweden, 2003
Drama, History, Avant-Garde

Synopsis

The beautiful fugitive Grace arrives in the small town of Dogville on the run from the mob. With encouragement from Tom, the town spokesman, the community agrees to hide her and in return, Grace agrees to work for them. However, goodness is relative, and Grace has a dangerous secret.

Dogville Directed by Lars von Trier
This complex relationship of the conditional and unconditional suggests that there is never a choice between modes of hospitality or forgiveness, that there is always a constant tension and negotiation between the two collapsible poles. If this is the case, is Grace’s continual forgiveness truly unconditional? Could not Grace’s infinite forgiveness of Dogville’s conditional hospitality… also be considered a form of thematizing violence?
July 22, 2005
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Say what you will about Lars von Trier—I won’t deny that he can be an obnoxious self-promoter, and at times…, a bad director—but he absolutely does not unthinkingly mimic the hand-me-downs of artistic expression. Does this automatically ascend von Trier to the realm of political filmmaking? I still don’t think so—there’s too much shock-the-bourgeoisie silliness remaining in his creative instincts—but it does make him capable of producing some brilliant social commentary.
April 12, 2004
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Von Trier’s elegantly angry Dogville, despite its predilection for audience-goosing, is an exhilarating pilgrimage into Darkest Human Nature: as emotionally exacting as we’ve come to expect from the director, and as primally insinuating as well. As a technical exercise, it’s unimpeachable; each camera set-up, each metaphysical visual layer, each situational theater gambit validates the artform.
October 03, 2003
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