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Manderlay

✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands

2005

2h 19m

Director Lars von Trier

Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Isaach De Bankolé, Danny Glover, Willem Dafoe

Genre Drama

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In 1933, after leaving Dogville, Grace Margaret Mulligan sees a slave being punished at a cotton farm called Manderlay. Officially slavery is illegal and Grace stands up against the owners of the farm. She stays with some gangsters in Manderlay and tries to influence the situation. But when harvest time comes Grace sees the social and economic reality of Manderlay.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

60

Film Threat by

If you hated "Dogville" because of the overage of narration or the length of time it took to finally get to a point, you'll be pleased to know that von Trier has lessened both those elements. With that said, it still has some of the same flaws.
70

Chicago Reader by J.R. Jones

Lars von Trier is back, so to speak--he's never visited the States, which makes his snide anti-American allegories even more infuriating to some….But the story holds up well enough to deliver a pointed critique of establishing self-rule at gunpoint.
25

New York Post by Lou Lumenick

Another ridiculous anti-American screed by the minimalist Danish director Lars von Trier, who has never set foot in this country.
63

Rolling Stone by Peter Travers

Howard struggles with the role Kidman nailed. And the graphic nude scene in which "proudy slave" Timothy (Isaach De Bankole) puts a towel over Grace's head before ravishing her pale body is as rugged on the audience as it is on the actors.
67

The A.V. Club by Scott Tobias

It's an extremely cynical perspective, enforced by some disappointingly turgid melodrama, but keep in mind, this movie was made before an almost uniformly poor and black population was left to rot in New Orleans floodwaters. Even at his worst, von Trier can still strike a nerve.
70

The New York Times by Stephen Holden

To warm to Manderlay, the chilly second installment of Lars von Trier's not-yet-finished three-part Brechtian allegory examining United States history, you must be willing to tolerate the derision and moral arrogance of a snide European intellectual thumbing his nose at American barbarism.
40

Variety by Todd McCarthy

The subject being race relations, Manderlay is bound to stir considerable debate in intellectual circles, but given the director's abstract style and use of characters to enact an agenda, it's a discussion that will exclude the general public, who will ignore it as they did "Dogville."

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