15 Seconds

Monday, September 25, 2006

Dogville

There's a family with kids. Do the kids first and make the mother watch. Shoot them one at a time, and... and tell her you'll stop if she can hold back her tears. I owe her that.


I saw an interesting movie on Sunday night called "Dogville". It stars Nicole Kidman as Grace, a girl on the run from gangsters, with no-one to turn to but the 15 residents of Dogville. The residents of Dogville reluctantly agree, and soon grow fond of Grace. However, their friendship turns to abuse as the search for Grace instensifies, and the "quid pro quo" demanded by the townsfolk becomes unbearable.

It's an interesting exploration of moral responsibility: should we hold people accountable for their actions, or forgive them as being understandable in their unfortunate circumstances? One interesting idea was that it is arrogant to forgive a person's actions as the unavoidable result of their human natures: in so doing, you are holding yourself up to a higher standard of moral conduct than you believe other people are capable of. This assumes, of course, that you don't behave just as badly yourself.

It's a tempting line of argument, but outrage at other people's behaviour is not something in short supply these days, in both political and personal issues. Although perhaps the delightfully interconnected suite of middle-east conflicts would come a lot closer to being resolved if generations of people stopped feeling justified in being violently angry (even though they do have good reasons to feel that way).

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2 Comments:

  • oh great thanks.
    now i have a vague idea of what the film is about.
    NICE ONE!!!
    you know i hate having a vague idea of what the film is about!!

    so did you actually enjoy the film or did you just engage with it on a intellectual level? that opening quote sounds incredibly gut-wrenching and emotional! I don't mean enjoy like HAPPY FUN TIMES :D !! but you know.

    I seem to recall that Lars Von Trier made Nicole Kidman absolutely miserable during the shoot of this -am I thinking of the right film? or is it the follow-up with Ron Howard's kid??

    By Blogger Bel, at 11:56 AM  

  • Nicole's character was tragic, so it wouldn't surprise me if she was miserable during the shoot.

    Did I enjoy it? Yes. I deliberately chose the most gut-wrenching quote to put at the beginning - makes for a better blog post.

    It's not like it's Grave of the Fireflies, and probably not like The Sea Inside, which is sitting on my TV waiting to be watched...

    By Blogger Sam, at 12:02 PM  

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