The Idiots (1998)
"Idioterne" (original title)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  17 July 1998 (Denmark)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 22,931 users   Metascore: 47/100
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The group of people gather at the house in Copenhagen suburb to break all the limitations and to bring out the "inner idiot" in themselves.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bodil Jørgensen ...
Anne Louise Hassing ...
Henrik Prip ...
Luis Mesonero ...
Knud Romer Jørgensen ...
Trine Michelsen ...
Anne-Grethe Bjarup Riis ...
High Class Lady
Erik Wedersøe ...
Stoffer's Uncle
Michael Moritzen ...
Man From Municipality
Josephine's Father


A group of perfectly intelligent young people decide to react to society's cult of an aimless, non-creative and non-responsible form of intelligence by living together in a community of "idiots". Their main activity becomes going out into the world of "normal" people and pretending to be mentally retarded. They take advantage of this situation to create anarchy everywhere they go and try by every possible means to make people annoyed, disturbed, miserable, ridiculous, angered, and shocked. The films start as they recruit a new lost soul and introduced her to their megalomaniac leader. Written by Matthieu Navarro

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Society is the mother of all Idiots See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality and nudity, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


Release Date:

17 July 1998 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Dogma 95 - Idioterne  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,235 (USA) (28 April 2000)


$339,768 (Sweden) (3 November 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Part of the Canon of Danish Art and Culture. See more »


This is a film that adheres to the 'Dogme 95' manifesto, so the usual goof rules do not necessarily apply. This includes shots of the crew, microphones and other equipment, as well as continuity errors. See more »


[Susanne puts a "spastic" Ped behind the van's steering wheel]
Guide at Factory: Who... is he driving?
Susanne: Responsibility does them good.
[Ped drives off recklessly]
See more »


Featured in Radikal idioterne - Dogma 8 1/2 (2000) See more »


Vi Er Dem De Andre Ikke Må lege Med
by Kim Larsen & Erik Clausen
See more »

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User Reviews

Von Trier pulls a rabbit out of the hat
8 January 2003 | by (Copenhagen, Denmark) – See all my reviews

This movie is very explicit, and definitely not for the faint hearted - if you have a problem with nudity etc. you should stay away (unless off course you want and eye opener)

The idiots was the second film made under the influential "dogma" rules (E.g. Spielberg (and others) has taken it up) and just as nr. 1 (T. Vinterberg's "Festen") and nr. 3 (S. Kragh Jakobsen's "Mifunes sang") the acting is superb, and almost too realistic. The shaking camera and the documentary feel really hits the viewer right in solar plexus. You want to cry, you want to scream!

In my opinion the theme is self realisation, modern man etc. If one wants to it can even bee seen as a comment to Hitler, manipulation, group thinking, the power of the mass etc.

It's not quite as tightly pulled of as "Festen", i.e. the idiots is maybe five or ten minutes to long. However: I claim that contrary to "festen" this movie is much more an art movie. It wants something more; it wants to constantly make the viewer aware of himself as a social individual with prejudice and more.

I wouldn't want to label this film social criticism, rather individual awareness.

As such it is the opposite of Von Triers "Breaking the waves" which was a very good movie as it made a very good impression of having a lot of depth that it just didn't. (which is a good achievement - I mean this)

(Breaking The waves and Mifunes sang: 8/10 Festen and Idiots: 10/10)

19 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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