Damn if I didn't completely forget to hate Dogville, and if I wasn't, three hours later, completely blown out of my little mind and right into the screening room next door.... You wanna see what our town is like? Here it is, in all its mean, petty, horrible smallness. It's not particularly about American meanness or pettiness or smallness, though some have accused von Trier of being anti-American — it's about human meanness, etc. The only thing "anti" about Dogville is that it might be called an anti-epic — an ambitious movie with a big cast and a marathon runtime that's about how small and insular and selfish people can be, about the miserable depths to which human beings can sink in their cruelty to others. Nationality's got nothing to do with it, though the ability to wield power over other human beings might, and so there might be some pertinent application to America as a whole right now. But everyone will — or should — recognize the universality of this, the worst side of humanity. MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
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