IMDb > Dancer in the Dark (2000)
Dancer in the Dark
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Dancer in the Dark (2000) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 26% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Lars von Trier (written by)
View company contact information for Dancer in the Dark on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 October 2000 (USA) See more »
You don't need eyes to see. See more »
An east European girl goes to America with her young son, expecting it to be like a Hollywood film. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 35 wins & 40 nominations See more »
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User Reviews:
Odd, bleak, but ultimately transfixing musical drama, pop singer Björk immerses herself completely in this tailor-made role. See more (689 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Björk ... Selma Jezkova

Catherine Deneuve ... Kathy

David Morse ... Bill Houston

Peter Stormare ... Jeff

Joel Grey ... Oldrich Novy

Cara Seymour ... Linda Houston
Vladica Kostic ... Gene Jezkova

Jean-Marc Barr ... Norman

Vincent Paterson ... Samuel

Siobhan Fallon Hogan ... Brenda (as Siobhan Fallon)

Zeljko Ivanek ... District Attorney

Udo Kier ... Dr. Porkorny

Jens Albinus ... Morty
Reathel Bean ... Judge
Mette Berggreen ... Receptionist
Lars Michael Dinesen ... Defense Attorney / Dancer
Katrine Falkenberg ... Suzan / Dancer
Michael Flessas ... Angry Man
John Randolph Jones ... Detective
Noah Lazarus ... Officer of the Court / Dancer
Sheldon Litt ... Visitor
Andrew Lucre ... Clerk of Court / Dancer
John Martinus ... Chairman / Dancer
Luke Reilly ... New Defense Council
T.J. Rizzo ... Boris / Dancer (as TJ Rizzo)

Stellan Skarsgård ... Doctor

Sean-Michael Smith ... Person in Doorway (as Sean Michael Smith)

Paprika Steen ... Woman on Night Shift
Eric Voge ... Officer

Nick Wolf ... Man with Hood
Timm Zimmermann ... Guard / Dancer
Al Agami ... Dancer
Alex Mouro ... Dancer
Alexander Arli ... Dancer
Allan Gyldenkærne ... Dancer
Ami Eklöf-Annell ... Dancer
Ana Christine Broström ... Dancer
Anders Tärneberg ... Dancer
Anders Thorhauge ... Dancer
Anders-Peter Torsleff Hansen ... Dancer
Ann Crosset ... Dancer
Anna David ... Dancer
Anna Norberg ... Dancer
Anna Rosenberg ... Dancer
Annette Lindholm ... Dancer
Anthony Ajoise Olufemi Jacob ... Dancer
Birgitte Skands ... Dancer
Bjorn Ahlander ... Dancer
Bo Westerholm ... Dancer
Bobo Eriksson ... Dancer
Britt Bendixen ... Dancer
Carl Johan De Neergaard ... Dancer
Carol Linda Nielsen ... Dancer
Claus Berenhard ... Dancer
Cristian Valle ... Dancer
Diana G.L. Watson ... Dancer
Ed Hickok ... Dancer
Edvin Karsson ... Dancer
Eli Stalhand ... Dancer
Elin Johansson ... Dancer
Emilie Bendz ... Dancer
Erik Dammann ... Dancer
Erik Drugge ... Dancer
Fredrik Börgesson ... Dancer
Frederik Mondrup ... Dancer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marianne Bengtsson ... Dancer
Troels Asmussen ... Dancer (uncredited)
Caroline Sascha Cogez ... Prison Guard - Serving Selma Jezkova's last meal (uncredited)

Rikke Lylloff ... Dancer (unconfirmed) (uncredited)

Directed by
Lars von Trier  (as Lars Von Trier)
Writing credits
Lars von Trier (written by) (as Lars Von Trier)

Produced by
Malte Forssell .... line producer
Friðrik Þór Friðriksson .... associate producer (as Fridrik Thor Fridriksson)
Finn Gjerdrum .... associate producer
Mogens Glad .... associate producer
Anja Grafers .... associate producer
Tony Grob .... line producer: USA
Torleif Hauge .... associate producer
Peter Aalbæk Jensen .... executive producer
Lars Jönsson .... co-executive producer
Tero Kaukomaa .... associate producer
Poul Erik Lindeborg .... associate producer
Leo Pescarolo .... collaborating producer
Marianne Slot .... co-executive producer
Els Vandevorst .... associate producer
Vibeke Windeløv .... producer
Original Music by
Björk (music composed by)
Cinematography by
Robby Müller (director of photography)
Film Editing by
François Gédigier  (as François Gedigier)
Molly Marlene Stensgaard 
Casting by
Avy Kaufman 
Production Design by
Karl Júlíusson  (as Karl Juliusson)
Art Direction by
Peter Grant 
Costume Design by
Manon Rasmussen 
Makeup Department
Michelle Crane .... key hair stylist: second unit (as Michelle Ahern)
Michelle Crane .... key makeup artist: second unit (as Michelle Ahern)
Anja Dahl .... makeup artist
Sanne Gravfort .... makeup artist
Cédric Gérard .... makeup artist: Catherine Deneuve
Morten Jacobsen .... special makeup effects artist
Lisa Mustafa .... assistant makeup dept.
John Nollet .... hair stylist: Catherine Deneuve
Ursula Rödel .... makeup artist: Catherine Deneuve
Production Management
Anders Barlebo .... unit manager
Joakim Höglund .... unit manager: Sweden
Lene Irgens .... post-production manager
Pia Nielsen .... technical post-production manager
Jonas Overton .... assistant unit manager: Sweden
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Caroline Sascha Cogez .... second assistant director
Damian Payne .... second assistant director: second unit
Anders Refn .... first assistant director
Anders Refn .... second unit director
Art Department
Gorm Andersen .... carpenter
Jonas Alexander Arnby .... set property assistant (as Jonas Arnby)
Christine Bechameil .... head painter
Mary Buri .... prop master: second unit
Friederik Eriksson .... set property assistant
Simone Grau .... set property
Jan Hansen .... carpenter
Cecilia Hersby .... art department coordinator (as Cecilia Sille Hersby)
Nicola Hewitt .... set decorator: second unit
Anders Jacobsen .... set property assistant
Thomas Karlsen .... property
Carsten Larsen .... carpenter
Jesper Lorents .... property master
Bent 'Niller' Nielsen .... construction coordinator (as Bent Nielsen)
Paul Mason .... carpenter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Kristian Eidnes Andersen .... supervising sound editor
Fabio D'Amico .... adr recordist
Pétur Einarsson .... dialogue editor
Guy Sigsworth .... sound processor: Celesta
Ad Stoop .... boom operator
Per Streit .... sound designer
Damian Taylor .... sound processor: Celesta
Paul Walton .... additional sound recordist
Mark Kenna .... consultant: Dolby film sound (uncredited)
Stig Günther .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Sedsel Andersen .... continuity: 100 camera department
Frank Berger .... gaffer
Edvard Friis-Moeller .... department head: 100 camera department (as Edvard Friis-Moller)
Tómas Gislason .... consultant: 100 camera department
Peter Harton .... assistant 100 camera unit
Peter Hjorth .... technical director: 100 camera department
David Koskas .... still photographer
Eric Kress .... director of photography: second unit
Morten Nybø .... electrician (as Morten Nyboe)
Helene Sandberg .... still photographer intern
Harri Sipilä .... electrician (as Harry Sipilä)
Jean-Robert Viallet .... video assistant
Lars von Trier .... camera operator (as Lars Von Trier)
Marcel Zyskind .... additional camera operator
Marcel Zyskind .... focus puller
Kristoffer Andrén .... assistant camera: Sweden (uncredited)
Casting Department
Joyce Nettles .... casting: UK
Terry Terry .... extras casting coordinator: second unit
Robbie Wald .... extras casting assistant: second unit
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Calem Martin .... assistant costume designer
Jalene Murphy .... set costumer
Louize Nissen .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Christine Ekstrand .... post-production assistant
Peter Hjorth .... additional editor
Soren Kloch .... digital film transfer
Yvan Lucas .... color timer
Music Department
Mark Bell .... music producer
Mark Bell .... music programmer
Björk .... music arranger: choral
Björk .... music producer
Björk .... musician: celesta
Björk .... vocal editor
Geoff Foster .... score recordist
Isobel Griffiths .... orchestra contractor
Vincent Mendoza .... conductor
Vincent Mendoza .... music arranger
Vincent Mendoza .... orchestrator
Scott Rodger .... music manager
Greg Rogers .... music consultant
Guy Sigsworth .... musician: celesta
Sjón Sigurdsson .... composer: lyrics
Valgeir Sigurðsson .... music editor
Valgeir Sigurðsson .... music mixer
Valgeir Sigurðsson .... music programmer
Valgeir Sigurðsson .... music recordist
Mark Stent .... music mixer: songs (as Mark 'Spike' Stent)
Lars von Trier .... composer: lyrics (as Lars Von Trier)
Bruce White .... viola
Ray Williams .... music consultant
Charlie Morgan .... musician: drums (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Thomas Garris .... transportation captain
Other crew
Malini Ahlberg .... production coordinator: Sweden (as Anna Malini Ahlberg)
Khalil Al Harbiti .... assistant location manager
Mattias Andersson .... runner
Mette Berggreen .... assistant choreographer
Mette Berggreen .... consultant: dance edit
Andrea F. Cannistraci .... legal services
Linda Daae .... continuity
Roger D. Faires .... location manager: second unit (as Roger Faires)
Jonas Frederiksen .... production controller
Peter Garde .... financial advisor
Louise Grosell .... production coordinator
Daniel Gylling .... location manager (as Daniel Ahlqvist)
Andrea Helgadóttir .... assistant: Björk (as Andrea Helgadottir)
Kerstin Hofstadius .... travel agent: Sweden
Carsten Holst .... assistant: Lars von Trier
Joga Jóhannsdóttir .... assistant: Björk (as Joga Johansdottir)
Per Kirkeby .... overture sequence
Cecilie Kølpin .... production assistant
Hans Lönnerheden .... completion bond
Andreas Martinsen .... runner
Liz Miller .... unit publicist
Mette Nelund .... financial coordinator
Pia Severin Nielsen .... assistant: Vibeke Windeløv
Vincent Paterson .... choreographer
Vincent Paterson .... dance director
Charlotte Pedersen .... assistant: Vibeke Windeløv
Cecilie Rui .... assistant: Vibeke Windeløv
Chris Sanger .... assistant: Marianne Slot
Paul Schwartzman .... consigliere
Sean-Michael Smith .... dialogue coach
Line Spanning .... travel coordinator
Carsten Sparwath .... production assistant
Jonathan Sydenham .... script translator
Christian Tafdrup .... runner
Nicholas Vroman .... assistant: Björk, second unit (as Nick Vroman)
James Wilson .... production executive: FilmFour
Karrie Melendrez .... story analyst (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for some violence
140 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Though the film is set in Washington State, it was filmed in Sweden. Some of the cast members in smaller parts are Swedish actors who are dubbed by actors with American accents.See more »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Kathy shows up to help Selma on the night shift she is speaking but her mouth is clearly not saying the words we hear.See more »
Selma:[talking about musical films] You know when the camera goes really big and it comes up out of the roof, and you just know that it's gonna end? I hate that.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Stealth (2006)See more »
107 STEPSSee more »


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124 out of 156 people found the following review useful.
Odd, bleak, but ultimately transfixing musical drama, pop singer Björk immerses herself completely in this tailor-made role., 31 May 2001
Author: gary brumburgh ( from Los Angeles, California

The reviews were extremely black and white for this art-house film. People were either enthralled or bored to tears by the whole experience. There seemed to be no middle ground. Now, that's my kind of movie. Any picture that can reap awards (Cannes Film Festival) and get lambasted by the general public at the same time will always pique my interest. In respect, it was a rich, rewarding odyssey, much easier to get through than, let's say, even half of "8½."

My initial respect for the unique, uncompromising style of Danish director Lars von Trier goes back to his compelling work in "Zentropa" and "Breaking the Waves," both bleak, surrealistic studies of man vs. reality. His pieces usually center around some innocent, simple-minded, self-sacrificing soul who inevitably succumbs to the cruelties of life.

I found the central role of Selma (as played by the extraordinary Björk) to be very much the emotional equivalent of Emily Watson's touchingly childlike, near-sociopath Bess in "Breaking the Waves" -- blessed and cursed with a naive, soulful purity. Selma represents one of God's little quirks of nature. A bespectacled, pathetically infantile little ragamuffin completely out of touch, Selma has somehow survived like the runt of a litter would - through luck, will power, and the extreme kindness of those around her. An impoverished Czech-born emigré living in a small Northwestern U.S. industrial town during the mid-60s, this luckless creature manages to eek out a meager Airstream-like existence as a factory worker, despite the fact she is legally blind.

Selma is, amazingly enough, a mother. Seemingly ill-equipped to care for a child much less herself, she has nevertheless managed to provide for the 12-year-old boy, while nurturing the child as a young girl would her rag doll. The fairly adjusted boy suffers, however, from the same optic disease as the mother, while the crux of the story revolves around her attempts to save up money for his inevitable operation.

The fascination of "Dancer in the Dark" lies in Selma's musical world. With her eyesight failing, her ears become the only sense of joy, falling periodically into bouts of fantasy anytime she grabs onto a rhythm or beat (like machine sounds, train engines, etc.), wherein she becomes the star of her own working-class musical production. These compelling sequences become mere extensions of her real-life circumstances, i.e., the musical interludes at work will include the factory itself as a set piece and the other workers as her ensemble. A strange mix of Fellini neo-realism and Busby Berkeley illusion, these daydreams (sparked by Vincent Paterson's inventive choreography and von Trier's purposely puerile lyrics) become her only escape. Björk's odd musical talent and vocal style may be an acquired taste, but she is so mesmerizing here it becomes a non-issue. In addition, there are brief moments of levity as a hopelessly inept community theater production of "The Sound of Music" goes into rehearsals with the very awkward Selma playing Maria.

The subordinate cast is equally in tune. The wonderful, beguiling French star Catherine Deneuve downplays her ethereal beauty as Kathy, Selma's co-worker and trusted friend. And a strange, maternalistic friendship it is indeed, for this woman seems to have no other purpose in life than to be this girl's eyes and hands, looking out for her practically day and night. Peter ("Fargo") Stormare shies away from his ruthless killer image with this touching portrayal of a sensitive, almost pitiable boor who only has eyes for the ungainly Selma. David Morse is gripping as a seemingly compassionate but despairing policeman whose one desperate act involving neighbor Selma results in tragedy. Joel Grey has a brief, telling moment near the film's end as a faded musical star idolized by Selma.

As in his other featured works, von Trier's gritty, hand-held camera work may be dizzying to the point of distraction at first but its overall impact to the stark proceedings is unquestionable. Moreover, the grueling paces he puts his actresses through to achieve absolute truth borders on misogyny but the rewards are tenfold. As in the case of Emily Watson, Björk has never shined brighter as an artist.

A harrowing, refreshingly original piece of filmmaking that should be experienced by anybody who dares to be different.

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