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.
A group of perfectly intelligent young people decide to react to society's cult of aimless, non-creative and non-responsible form intellect by living together in a community of "idiots". Their main activity becomes going out into the world of "normal" people and pretending to be mentally retarded. They take advantage of this situation to create anarchy everywhere they go and try by every possible means to make people annoyed, disturbed, miserable, ridiculous, angered, and shocked. The film starts as they recruit a new lost soul and introduce her to their megalomaniac leader.Written by
Infamously, English critic Mark Kermode got thrown out of the screening at the Cannes film festival for loudly heckling the film and yelling "this is shit" at the screen on multiple occasions. See more »
This is a film that adheres to the 'Dogme 95' manifesto, so the usual goof rules do not necessarily apply. This includes shots of the crew, microphones and other equipment, as well as continuity errors. See more »
[at Stoffer's birthday party]
I think Stoffer should choose what we do next. Because it's his party.
No, listen, we've got picture lotto, spin the bottle...
Count me in. Gang bang! Gang bang!
See more »
To avoid an NC-17 rating, the U.S. distributor used black bars to cover all shots of male genitals and penetration during the orgy scene. See more »
As a Dane it may be easier to see where Lars Von Trier is coming from with this social criticism (satire of social criticism!) movie.
First of all he comes from a country that prides itself in two traditions:
1. a state that takes care of and cares for everyone
2. a country that has a long tradition of social-criticism in literature and movies
For more than ten years it seemed that every big film project in Denmark had a social agenda...That was probably the only way to get financial support for your film project - which was most of the time, if not all of the time - supplied by the state.
This film is poking fun - primarily - at this social criticism tradition, while it also renews it.
But how much should we take seriously - Lars Von Trier would probably laugh at anyone, who takes this movie at face value - as a bona fide social criticism (which it is not!) and - of course - it fails as traditional "social criticism", just look at it - this is not a film like Pelle the Conquerer, there are no drunken, heavy-set men seducing their underage nieces and abusing the working man sadistically.
In short this movie wasn't meant to succeed in the genre in a traditional sense.
It has a more profound agenda - I have a hard time putting words to it, because what the movie says is so very Danish. Certain scenes are simply great: When they visit the factory and "the idiots" are allowed to turn the machines on and off...I can't explain why that is so intensely funny, but I'm pretty sure it's a Danish thing.
This film is funny, sad, sentimental, wonderfully-acted... It comments on a social-democratic tradition and state that embraces you for better and for worse...It also talks about capitalism in this system...Maybe it's really all about the compromise inherent in a social-democratic tradition existing parallel with a capitalist system. Such a compromise could be viewed as hypocrisy from a philosophical standpoint.
Central to this movie is the theme of honesty and sincerity...And all the while you don't want to take it too seriously, because you have a feeling that the director isn't all that serious about it himself...
In short I find the movie and it's intention irresistibly confusing.
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