I found this movie deeply disturbing and I don't recommend it to anyone. I am a woman and found the treatment of Nicole Kidman's character shocking and sickening. I don't know of any other female who doesn't feel the same way.
Doesn't historical accuracy enter your comeupance?
Despite the movie is set in the thirties it addresses problems which still exist. Sexual abuse and rape are sadly current, or should I say timeless, issues.
I gave the movie 4 stars.
The selected period further strengthens the intentional "alienation effect" (Verfremdungseffekt) of the drama in my opinion. I think this is a movie that couldn't have been done in any other style than Brechtian because of the taboo nature of its motifs.
I am sooooo impressed. Brechtian - I haven't heard that since I earned my BFA in Theatre. An excellent point of discussion for "alienation effect ." Issue films are difficult to discuss because the issue itself sets off an avalanche
of anger, fear, indignance, etc. "Pam" for her own reasons is unable to separate from the content of this film. Obviously, the "alienation effect" did not work for her. I, on the other hand, was bored during moments of the film. The "alienation effect" worked too well for me. Since I haven't seen Dogville
recently, I sadly am unable to discuss what was lacking in that effect. Perhaps "memasa" could enlighten me.
SOME OF MY THOUGHTS ON THE MOVIE:
- The play could have been even less localized
- Nicole Kidman could have, in passing, adressed the viewer directly
The fact the houses have no actual walls brilliantly illustrates the transparency of a small village community -- in this case an immoral one -- where nothing stays secret. Even the kids of Dogville know Grace is being raped and thus they ring the town bell every time that happens (by far the most sickening scene of the whole movie). The whole village, which I perceive as the whole world, is silently accepting prostitution because it has become a tradition. I interpreted Liz's thank-you to Grace for taking away the attention from her as an insinuation of a subordinative tradition.
The social control used by the villagers also reminded me of Panopticon and the deployment of panopticism throughout society. Panopticon is a prison design by Jeremy Bentham which enables constant surveillance of a prisoner without the prisoner knowing when he or she is being monitored (aka Big Brother). In this case the prisoner is obviously Grace. Perhaps it was the heavy wheel Grace was hauling behind her that ultimately led me to this association of (wheel-shaped) Panopticon.
A disciplinary society with perverted norms is a scary idea. For some it hasn't been just an idea but a fact. Think, for example, of the dictatorships in world history.
-- m, from Finland --