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Manderlay (2005)

 -  Drama  -  3 June 2005 (Denmark)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 15,985 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 79 user | 140 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

A story of slavery, set in the 1930s American South.

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(as Lars Von Trier)

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Title: Manderlay (2005)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Thomas
...
Mam
...
Mr. Robinsson
Geoffrey Bateman ...
Bertie
...
Edward
Ruben Brinkman ...
Bingo
Doña Croll ...
Venus (as Dona Croll)
...
Niels
Llewella Gideon ...
Victoria
Mona Hammond ...
Old Wilma
Ginny Holder ...
Elisabeth
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Storyline

After gangster Mulligan's cars colony, fleeing northern justice, finds a hiding place in Alabama, spoiled, naive daughter Grace refuses to travel on after seeing the Manderlay cotton plantation being run under slavery rules, called Mam's law, inclusive flogging. She keeps half of dad's goons as guard to force the dying matriarch-owner's heirs, which she shamelessly dispossesses and reduces to 'staff', to taste destitution under absurd, gun-imposed contracts. The 'slaves' are made free partners, supposed to vote for progress after lessons from Grace. But almost all her democracy-pupils prove fickle, dumb and selfish, except old Willem. Her and their ignorance in Southern planting and crafty Dixie ways means more problems are created then solved. By the time dad returns to pick her up or abandon her for good, she's the one who has learned and changed the most. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A case of mistaken identity See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Language:

Release Date:

3 June 2005 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

The Film 'Manderlay' as Told in Eight Straight Chapters  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,117 (USA) (27 January 2006)

Gross:

$74,205 (USA) (17 March 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

No animals were put to death during production. The story is a urban myth. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: It was in the year of 1933, when Grace and her father were heading southward with their army of gangsters.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing dedication: In Memory Of Humbert Balsan 21.08.1954 - 10.02.2005 See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Road to Manderlay (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Young Americans
Written and Performed by David Bowie
Courtesy of RZO Music, Inc.
Published by Chrysalis Music Limited
EMI Music Publishing Limited / RZO Music Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
it's a von Trier - so what do you expect
10 June 2005 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

I have already several years ago decided that Lars von Trier's movies can neither be called good or bad, they are always different and thought provoking but most certainly also irritating and annoying. Manderlay is no exception.

Our heroin spots a dictator on the axis of evil, storms in with light sabers and an ever-optimistic smile, brushes away the dictator and her regime, and is proud of having brought freedom and democracy to yet another place (any similarities with other persons - living or dead - are fully intentional and of course debatable).

But how do you make democracy work when people have not learned it through practice and the collective memory of democracy's fallacies since the ancient Greek city states. How do you make people value their freedom and be responsible for their own fortune, when it is much more comfortable to blame someone else for their fate.

Von Trier brilliantly and ironically discusses these issues with surprising twists in the plot. But he will most definitely offend all kinds of Americans who will be too rash to judge this movie as anything between a misunderstanding and an insult of the American people of whatever color.

Bryce Dallas Howard (Grace) delivers a great performance.

To make a movie on an almost naked stage with imaginary doors etc. is very different from anything else and it actually could contribute to focus more on the actors performance (as on a theater stage). But I think that the hasty cutting of scenes and the annoyingly shaky hand-held camera actually diminish the actors chances of delivering a forceful performance. I don't mind the hand-held camera of the Dogma movies, but this is no Dogma movie. It has "artificial" music, sound effects, lightning, requisites, etc. So why bother to have a hand-held camera.

Manderlay is an excellent movie for anybody who enjoys being provoked or how wants to confirm her/his prejudice about von Trier as a weird director with tendencies to be proud-to-be-old-Europe.


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