© Legend Filmverleih/Neue Visionen

Denmark/Sweden/The Netherlands/France/Germany/U.S.A. 2005

Opening 10 Nov 2005

Directed by: Lars von Trier
Writing credits: Lars von Trier
Principal actors: Bryce Dallas Howard, Isaach De Bankolé, Willem Dafoe, Danny Glover, Lauren Bacall

The Danish production company responsible for this movie, Zentropa, has won this year’s Hamburg Douglas Sirk Award, but I don’t know why. Manderlay is the second instalment of a trilogy which began with Dogville and which apparently “took the world by storm.” The Danish director Lars von Trier now has the largest production company in Scandinavia but has an international outlook and cast for his movie. The story concerns racism in the USA and is set in the town of Manderlay in Alabama in the 1930s. The movie has a theatrical feel, and the town is depicted by a few stage props which the actors keep moving about. Why? I ask myself. It begins with a whipping and ends with a whipping and asks many questions in between, none of which are answered though most are thought provoking. The movie is packed with famous stars, such as Danny Glover, William Dafoe and Lauren Bacall who presumably were lured by the avant garde style of the director. They had to make up for the lack of a musical soundtrack by non-stop talking and a monotonous narrative given Mr. Glover. There are scenes of such appalling brutality in this movie that you leave the cinema feeling depressed and upset, which is probably what the director intended. (Jenny Mather)

The theaters below show films in their original language; click on the links for showtimes and ticket information.
Interviews with the stars, general film articles, and reports on press conferences and film festivals.
Subscribe to the free KinoCritics monthly email newsletter here.