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Dogville, von Trier

Сцена Молот, Пермский академический Театр-Театр, Perm, Russia

"Maybe that's the reason why you are so sad. Because in the depth of your heart you suddenly understood that you want to do it just like the others. Maybe you are afraid that you are in no way different from them?"

Dogville is a remote village in the Rocky Mountains. The basis of its prosperity, an old silver mine, has long time been exhausted and abandoned. There's just a handful of families living their modest lives at the foot of a hard rock, almost forgotten by the rest of the civilization. "The citizens of Dogville were good and honest people," - says the storyteller right at the beginning of Lars von Trier's 2003 movie. They are not the winners of economical development, but its victims, they are not active participants of the social process, but only passive spectators – and yet they are good people, and maybe this distinguishes them from the rest of the world.

But the villager's will to be good is severely tested by von Trier. Fleeing from gangsters, a beautiful refuge, Grace, is searching for asylum in Dogville. The inhabitants of the village agree to let the stranger live with them, hiding her from her pursuers. In return, Grace offers them not only labor, but also her unconditional love and care. "It is this sudden power over someone, which corrupts the village." explains von Trier in an interview, "Grace positions herself as a ripe apple and is surprised that she is picked."

Grace is willing to do everything for the villagers, as well as to forgive them everything they do to her. By that she gradually loses her worth and finally finds herself deprived of her dignity and chained like a dog, reduced to a mere object of sexual exploitation. In her faith to help them by giving them her best, Grace brings out the worst in the people of Dogville. And since she herself has become the living proof of their inhumanity, it is inevitable that their entire hatred bursts out at her.

Lars von Trier has written Dogville in response to Brecht's song about "Pirate Jenny", who after being exploited as a maid in a cheap hotel, finally takes revenge on her tormentors and orders to wipe out an entire city. Like Brecht's Jenny Grace is also offered the opportunity to pass a judgment on the inhabitants of Dogville in the end of the story. Can there be any excuse to what they have done to her? Is there a just punishment? And who has the right to decide that?

starring: Irina Maksimkina, Aleksandr Goncharuk, Ilya Linovich, Olga Pudova, Lydia Anikeeva, Oleg Vihodov, Aleksei Deryagin, Julia Zacharkina, Mikhail Chudnov

staging: Andreas Merz Raykov

translation: Ekaterina Raykova-Merz

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