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Manderlay (2006)

Bryce Dallas Howard , Isaach De Bankolé , Lars von Trier  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Manderlay + Dogville + Dancer in the Dark
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Product Details

  • Actors: Bryce Dallas Howard, Isaach De Bankolé, Danny Glover, Willem Dafoe, Michaël Abiteboul
  • Directors: Lars von Trier
  • Writers: Lars von Trier
  • Producers: Andreas Schreitmüller, Bettina Brokemper, Els Vandevorst, Gillian Berrie, Gunnar Carlsson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Digital Sound, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Ifc
  • DVD Release Date: August 8, 2006
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FZEU0G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,328 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Manderlay" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Traveling across America with her father (Willem Dafoe), Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) comes to discover the isolated plantation of Manderlay – a place whose inhabitants do not know that slavery has been abolished. Outraged to discover that the plantations

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
By dooby
Format:DVD
This is an excellent film. In the second installment of his proposed American trilogy, Lars von Trier, touches on the subjects of racism, cultural blindness, hypocrisy and self-righteous superiority. In its way, it points at why America is simultaneously admired and despised the world over. Famously, Lars von Trier has never set foot in America (afraid of flying). So his views are the views of a foreigner, specifically a northern European steeped in the liberal tradition. Some will see that as a negative. I think it is refreshing for Americans to see how America is viewed from abroard, from someone unencumbered by its cultural baggage. What he shows is the ugly side of America. But von Trier's comment is by extension a critique on all humanity; for what Americans are here accused of, is equally applicable to other nations, races and creeds.

The story is simple. It carries on chronologically from Dogville. After destroying the godforsaken town in the bloody climax of the previous film, Grace (previously played by Nicole Kidman, and now by Bryce Dallas Howard) drives homeward with her father and his convoy of gangsters. They chance upon a plantation in Alabama where slavery is still practised, some 70 years after abolition (this is 1933). Grace gets it into her mind to free the slaves and to teach everyone, former slaves and Masters alike, about the new creed of equality and democracy. With the aid of her gun-toting gangsters, she preaches and enforces her new religion on the "benighted" people of the plantation. Of course, out of the seeds of her good intent, come no good at all.

The film can be viewed on many levels. The simplest is to take it as a commentary on racism. Passing a decree does not abolish racism. Nothing changes as long as hearts and minds don't change.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars global interpretation May 22, 2006
I've only seen the film once, but I felt that the most consistent interpretation was strictly about arrogant imperialism. I found myself first seeing through a very direct lens of a slave narrative/american liberal white guilt. This is an easy interpretation that lives on the surface.

The film then transformed into a statement about the presumption that "we" can teach others how to govern when "they" may have a system that works better in their context. The system in Manderlay was not overseer/slave, the system was socialism/communism and each "slave," as Grace saw them, had his or her own specialized role. The inhabitants of Manderlay were free within their system, but Grace was so completely blinded by what her culture had taught her about "freedom" and "democracy" and the inferiority of all other ways of life. The democracy she implemented was a complete farce. Their society did not function when the arrogant outsider who thought she knew what was best for them began implementing her system with force. The most direct comparison is "operation iraqi freedom" and other US nation building exercises or sponsored coups.

I found many other characters to be representations of a global system of oppression. The card shark was an international lending institution like the World Bank or the IMF and the "prince" was a corrupt leader who sold out his people for a cut of the profits of the international business elites (like Marcos, Suharto, or seemingly countless others).

I was very pleased with Manderlay and thoroughly frustrated by simplistic the reviews I read of it. I feel that this film falls apart with a straigtforward viewing. As a white guilt slave narrative the film is mediocre. As commentary on imperialism and an absolutely corrupt global system, the film is a wonderful composition. I can't wait for Wasington.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Political allegory at its barebones finest! September 4, 2006
Format:DVD
I just can't help myself. I always have to see what Lars von Trier is up to. I think von Trier sees Americans as either hopelessly self-deluded or secretly self-loathing. Either way, he once again has allowed us to peer into his head in order to see America through his eyes (even though he has yet to step foot on American soil due to his own fear of flying). To say he's an irritant would be an understatement. He has quite a talent for getting under one's skin and setting up camp for a long while even after the last reel of film has unspooled. He's annoying, provocative, controversial and possibly one of the greatest directors of all time. Just like his film style and choice of subject matter - you either love him or you hate him. I kinda like that. I like a filmmaker who forces the viewer out of the gray dullness of life - to take a definitive stand and to have a direct opinion about something ... anything. He's thought-provoking, ascerbic and scathing at his best and he's a somewhat simplistic, narcissistic, petulant man-child at his worst. But, I promise you this: after seeing Manderlay, you will have an opinion and you will have food for thought for quite some time. This is a bold and daring film and von Trier delivers his message with surgical precision.

In the second part of his proposed American trilogy (the first part being his last film, Dogville), the story's hero, Grace comes upon a working plantation (Manderlay) complete with slaves and slave owners. The problem is, the year is 1933. Are these people living a vacuum? Well, it seems it's up to Grace to "break the news" to all involved. Her gangster father, played by Willem Dafoe, urges Grace to not get involved but headstrong and rebellious Grace (played by the talented but miscast Bryce Dallas Howard) is of another opinion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Painfully Histrionic.
I rather go to the theater for this.

The story and topic are very interesting.

Any way it is a movie everyone needs to see.
Published 3 months ago by jagapsi
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Lars Von Trier
This film is visually beautiful. The subject of slavery, morality and right effort are treated with the most quiet, subtle, layered, profoundly damming and yet clear voice. Read more
Published 9 months ago by ann pachner
4.0 out of 5 stars FOLLOW-UP TO DOGVILLE
THIS IS MUCH LIKE "PART ONE" WHICH IS DOGVILLE WITH KIDWELL PLAYING THE FEMALE LEAD, OTHERWISE THE SET AND NEGATIVE ATTITUDE TOWARDS EVERYONE AMERICAN IS PRETTY MUCH THE... Read more
Published 12 months ago by leonvo69
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to see beyond your own biases to admire and comprehend this...
So yes, Manderlay was a box office failure. But it still is such a technical and artistic accomplishment that very people few will be able to appreciate. Read more
Published 13 months ago by welovecorgies
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow, not what I expected...but still pretty good
I saw the movies with my mother and we were in for a shock. It was gritty and the dialog was tedious at times but the story picked up in the unexpected end.
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Got Lost
Sorry I got lost on this one.
It was hard to follow and I couldn't keep an interest
on the movie.
Published 14 months ago by Jacque L Helton
1.0 out of 5 stars I liked this film better when it was called "Birth of a Nation"
What we have here is a smug white boy fantasy about race in America. Much like Birth of a Nation, freed slaves get uppity and go after whitey. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Gabriel76
3.0 out of 5 stars expected more
I have to admit the movie bored me. Hard to watch because of the constant lacking of light. I anticipated what would happen after seeing Dogville. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Laszlo Kurucz
3.0 out of 5 stars A good movie
The history is interesting, but was missing Nicole Kidman. Dogville was the better movie than this because Nicole Kidman make the diference.
Published 18 months ago by Paulo Wadt
3.0 out of 5 stars Overblown and unsubtle--not a worthy follow-up to Dogville.
<strong>Manderlay</strong> (Lars von Trier, 2005)

The big problem with von Trier's United States trilogy is that... well, it's a trilogy. Read more
Published on January 25, 2012 by Robert Beveridge
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