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Lasse Spang Olsen
Tomas Villum Jensen,
Nikolaj Lie Kaas,
Camilla Overbye Roos
Kresten has moved from his parents farm on a small Danish island to Copenhagen in order to pursue his working career. When his father dies he has to move back to the farm, where nothing much has happened since he left. He places an add in the local newspaper to get help running the farm and taking care of his mentally disabled brother. The whore Liva, who is running away from annoying telephone calls, answers it. But running away from your past isn't easy. Written by
After the movie's completion, director Søren Kragh-Jacobsen made the following statement: "As one of the DOGME 95 brethren and co-signatory of the Vow of Chastity I feel moved to confess to the following transgressions of the aforesaid Vow during the production of 'Dogme 3 - Mifune'. Please note that the film has been approved as a Dogme work, as only one genuine breach of the rules has actually taken place. The rest may be regarded as moral breaches. - I confess to having made one take with a black drape covering a window. This is not only the addition of a property, but must also be regarded as a kind of lighting arrangement. - I confess to moving furniture and fittings around the house. - I confess to having taken with me a number of albums of my favorite comic book series as a youth, Linda & Valentin (Valérian and Laureline). - I confess to helping to chase the neighbour's free-range hens across our location and including them in the film. - I confess that I brought a photographic image from an old lady from the area and hung it in a prominent position in one scene: not as part of the plot, but more as a selfish, spontaneous, pleasurable whim. - I confess to borrowing a hydraulic platform from a painter, which we used for the only two bird's-eye overview shots in the film. - I do solemnly declare that in my presence the remainder of 'Dogme 3 - Mifune' was produced in accordance with the vow of chastity. - I also point out that the film has been approved by DOGME 95 as a Dogme film, as in real terms no more than a single breach of the rules has been committed. The rest may be regarded as moral transgressions." See more »
I didn't know much about this movie going in, but I got a very nice surprise. The Kresten plot -- a yuppie summoned home to deal with his redneck past by the death of his father -- could have been a dull family drama, but this movie was much better than that. It turns out that he has a number of things about his past that he's kept secret from the people in his city life -- his retarded brother, the badly run-down farm he grew up on, and more. Some of his story is serious, and much is played for humor, with good taste separating the drama and humor.
The Liva plot -- a woman escaping prostitution into an honest common job -- was completely opposite the Hollywood presentation of prostitution. (Hollywood either glamorizes it, uses it as an opportunity to add gratuitous sex before switching to the gratuitous violence.) Liva's prostitution pays fairly well, but it's clearly miserable, degrading, full of fear, and sometimes danger. The movie shows why she wants out with understated drama -- instead of rubbing her misery in our faces, it shows us hints of it, but leaves room for us to imagine just how bad it is for her.
When Liva escapes prostitution with a job as Kresten's housekeeper, the her part in the movie switches from drama to comedy, in the form of funny situations and events that feel natural, rather than contrived gag situations.
The acting was very good, particular Iben Hjejle's portrayal of Liva. Anders W. Berthelsen played Kresten well, and Emil Tarding's smaller role as Liva's young brother Bjarke was also very good.
I had never heard of the Dogme film series until after seeing this movie. The only one Dogme rule that really matters to the movie was that the plot must stick to real life and avoid superficial violence. That demanded a plot where the characters and story matter, and Søren Kragh-Jacobsen delivered. The simple camera work, natural lighting, minimal set dressing, etc., didn't improve the movie. But neither did the simple movie-making detract from the quality -- they deserve praise for doing so well within their rules of simplicity. One additional benefit of the movie-making simplicity rules was that it kept the budget low, so that more good movies like this could be made.
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