Manderlay Dogville

03/07/2006
  |  Buy to Own: 03/07/2006
  |  305 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

A double bill of controversial experimental drama from Danish director Lars Von Trier, co-founder of the Dogme film movement - which uses pared-down filming techniques inspired by Bertolt Brecht. In 'Dogville' the entire film is shot on a bare wooden sound stage without special effects or artificial lighting, the streets and homes are drawn in chalk, and characters come and go through imaginary doors. All the characters are on stage all the time, whether they are involved in a scene or not, and the story is narrated throughout by John Hurt. An intense study of an incomer to an isolated community, the film stars Nicole Kidman as Grace, a beautiful fugitive with a dangerous secret. Arriving in the small town of Dogville in the Rocky Mountains in the 1930s, she offers her services to the people of the town in return for a safe place to hide. The townsfolk (played by Paul Bettany, Patricia Clarkson, Ben Gazzara, Chloe Sevigny, Blair Brown and Lauren Bacall among others) reluctantly agree to shelter Grace for two weeks. But as it becomes increasingly dangerous to harbour her, they come to expect favours from Grace, and the more she gives, the greater her obligations become. 'Manderlay' explores slavery and prejudice in the Deep South of the 1930s, a thematic sequel to Von Trier's earlier 'Dogville'. Arriving on the cotton plantation Manderlay, fugitive Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) and her mob of gangsters find a world where slavery has been allowed to continue. Freeing the slaves, Grace tries to teach them the rudiments of democracy and self-reliance, but soon comes to realise that she is merely imposing her own values on a culture of which she has little or no understanding. Danny Glover, Willem Dafoe and Lauren Bacall also star.