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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 retarded 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 »
Despite the Dogme trappings, there is a story here. It is about lying and its consequences.
Kresten, a young go-go company man is marrying the boss's daughter, but hides, then fabricates his country past. He doesn't get away with it for long and ends up shamed and divorced. Likewise, a young prostitute, Liva, tries to flee her surroundings, but they follow her and in the end visit - literally - wrath on her new home.
The only spiritually pure character, content in his surroundings, too innocent of wit to lie, is Kresten's retarded brother Rud. It seems that everything he says, no matter how far-fetched, turns out to be true. He is also the teacher of kindness who, since he is inarticulate, can only teach by example.
Actually, I think the most unambiguously satisfying relationship here is between Rud and Liva's beastly little brother Bjarke. It is Bjarke who can't handle the truth about himself and his sister. Quickly, the stereotypes he has learned to brutalize in the social Darwinian hell of boarding school confront him with their humanity and teach him that life doesn't have to be the daily exercise in cynicism that he and his sister suppose.
There is atonement for all three, visited in different forms, but ultimately redeeming and providing a hopeful ending to the story.
Unfortunately, there are a few problems in Mifune which marred my viewing. A major one is the text, which is badly abused in translation to English. For some reason, the translator has seen fit to turn words which in Danish mean "damn" or "hell" into "f**k". Perhaps he or she thought it would give the dialog more impact. He or she was wrong.
Another problem is the unresolved and perhaps unnecessary character of the ugly and despicable Gerner, whose purpose I'm not exactly sure of, other than as a kind of agent of punishment - perhaps a devil - descending on the hapless Kresten. In any case, we need at least to know more about him, or perhaps even have him whacked or otherwise disposed of for dramatic purposes.
Anyway, as with most European movies, "Mifune" is more about character than story. I strongly recommend that you meet Kresten, Rud, Liva and Bjarke. I think you'll like them in the end.
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