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An east European girl goes to America with her young son, expecting it to be like a Hollywood film.

Director:

(as Lars Von Trier)

Writer:

(as Lars Von Trier)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 45 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Oldrich Novy
...
Linda Houston
Vladica Kostic ...
Gene Jezkova
...
Norman
...
Samuel
...
Brenda (as Siobhan Fallon)
...
District Attorney
...
...
Morty
Reathel Bean ...
Judge
Mette Berggreen ...
Receptionist
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Storyline

Selma has emigrated with her son from Central Europe to America. The year is 1964. Selma works day and night to save her son from the same disease she suffers from, a disease that inevitably will make her blind. But Selma has the energy to live because of her secret! She loves musicals. When life feels tough she can pretend that she is in the wonderful world of musicals...just for a short moment. All happiness life is not able to give her she finds there... Written by Fredrik Klasson <fredrik.klasson@telia.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world of shadows, she found the light of life. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Language:

Release Date:

6 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bailando en la oscuridad  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$63,858 (Norway) (8 September 2000)

Gross:

ESP 290,047,040 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer-director Lars von Trier's first draft screenplay was called "Taps" and featured tap dancing in every scene. Choreographer Vincent Paterson convinced von Trier that it would be far too difficult, if not impossible, to teach something as "technical" as tap dancing to Björk and the other cast members within a reasonable period of time. Von Trier rewrote the screenplay so that the songs would be more in the style of "traditional" Hollywood musicals, but retained some of the tap-dancing motif with the character of Oldrich Novy. See more »

Goofs

Surname of Selma's son should be a Jezek, not Jezková. See more »

Quotes

Selma: You like the movies, don't you?
Bill Houston: I love the movies. I just love the musicals.
Selma: But isn't it annoying when they do the last song in the films?
Bill Houston: Why?
Selma: Because you just know when it goes really big... and the camera goes like out of the roof... and you just know it's going to end. I hate that. I would leave just after the next to last song... and the film would just go on forever.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in High Chaparall: Robert Englund (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

IN THE MUSICALS, PART 1
Written by Björk, Mark Bell, Sjón Sigurdsson & Lars von Trier
Performed by Björk
Arranged by Björk & Vincent Mendoza
Orchestrated & Conducted by Vincent Mendoza
Produced by Björk & Mark Bell
Mixed by Mark Stent (as Mark "Spike" Stent)
Published by Universal Music, Warp/EMI Music & Copyright Control
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Movie To Break Your Heart
23 August 2000 | by (Helsinki, Finland) – See all my reviews

It feels awkward to attempt to put Dancer in the Dark into words. Von Trier's film is one of those movies that truly change the way we think about cinema and its possibilities, and for such a film, words do no justice. Dancer in the Dark centers around Selma (Björk), a factory worker, who loves her 10-year-old son above everything else in the world. Selma is a happy, innocent creature who enjoys musicals for "nothing bad ever happens in them". These elements (mother's love for her son, joyfulness of musicals versus the hardships of every day life) create a whole unlike anything ever seen on silver screen. Selma is rapidly losing her eye sight, but not her vision: she's the 'dancer in the dark' who is prepared to sacrifice herself to keep the light in her child's eyes. Very early on it becomes obvious that this story can't have a happy ending. However, once you've accepted it, you can put your mind at ease and see the film as it unfolds from Selma's point of view. And what a view it is! Björk gives a performance of a life time - this little woman with a huge voice is all emotion all the time without ever appearing overtly dramatic or cheaply sentimental. There's no weak link in the rest of the cast either, Peter Stormare as Jeff, Catherine Deneuve as Kathy and Siobhan Fallon as the prison guard to name but a few. The biggest star is still the director himself; von Trier demonstrates his talent in a superb fashion by both telling a simple story that will most likely break you heart and examining the ever-persistent ills of the life of the lower class of the American society. What about the film's musical character then? This is where von Trier triumphs the most by understanding the very essence of the whole genre - hope; hope that will live in our soul for ever if we'll only follow our heart.


144 of 182 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Just awful rob-asbell
Selma is a murderer with a low IQ, I feel sorry for her orphan nickymelnar
Most depressing movie I have ever seen. PerceptiveGal
Did anyone NOT cry?... justsomerandomirrelevantweirdo
view of America richee-1
Not convinced by Bjorks acting abilities tallbird50
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