INTERACT Ľ Fan Reviews Ľ DOGVILLE, by Marcy

I loved seeing Birth and think it may be my all-time-favorite movie with Nicole. I had to watch it 4 times in a row! I just couldnít get enough of it and got something out of it each time. What a masterpiece!

And then I saw the Dogville DVD recently and I was blown away.

First, I have to say how much I admire Nicole for taking on such controversial films. Thank God for actresses like her so we movie-goers donít have to watch the same old predictable plot over and over. Nicole, youíve got guts! You go girl! Iím rooting for you all the way!

Dogville: what can I say about it that hasnít already been said? I actually think I have something novel to say. I havenít read any reviews so far that match my thoughts about this film. So many people felt depressed when they saw this film because they felt it was a reflection of our society. Yes, in a way I did also see it that way but from a slightly different angle.

I see the story well, as a multi-faceted story for one thing but I want to focus on the main point, which for me was violence. It wasnít about the USA, it wasnít about the mafia, it wasnít about Jesus Christ.

Grace grew up in a home filled with violence. Those shots that we heard in the beginning of the film were shots from her father aimed at her. HER! So she ran for her life. What do children learn from their parents? They learn to imitate them. Why do people become violent? Often, they donít know how or donít have the skills to communicate non-violently so they use force.

It seemed very noticable to me how Grace was so passive. She rarely asserted herself and even when she did it was barely above a whisper. Donít most women scream when theyíre raped? Do we ever hear Grace scream? No. She allows people to use and abuse her. She rationalizes their behavior. So, in the end, when her father and his thugs come to rescue her from the townsfolk who are abusing her (history repeating itself), she condones the executions and participates in killing the one person most like herself: Tom. Itís actually not so surprising even though we are surprised to put it mildly.

I had to watch this film twice to make certain connections, but it was very hard to watch twice unlike Birth which was a joy to watch over and over. Dogville was brutal and probably relected the worst in mankind. We can probably safely assume that killing becomes easier with practice. But I donít believe that everyone in every society is revengeful and capable of killing. There are people in society who know how to turn the other cheek without being doormats. Viewers, don't be so depressed!

Laugh if you must, but our little Grace needed to take some assertiveness training. However, if she did the story would have lost a lot of itís power I think. So, lucky for us she didnít. As someone who sometimes has issues with assertiveness, this film spoke volumes to me.

As far as afterthoughts: I thought it was interesting how several men in the town said what a horrible town it was (before the town turned on Grace). It seemed odd how they accepted the fact that one of the men went to another town to be with a prostitute on a regular basis, yet at the same time, they were not accepting of Grace. I also recalled that Graceís father said to Tom (when he was in his car looking for her) ďShe is very precious to me.Ē Was that because he had run out of bullets when he was shooting at her? Sorry, just being sarcastic here. My mother-in-law once commented that she used to hear her next-door neighbor yelling at her husband, ďHoney, you son-of-a-bitch!Ē It sounds like the same line of thinking.

Dogville is a very rich movie and one that invites an endless stream of thoughts and comments. Itís a brilliant film and worthy of every reward it collected.