A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits the town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away.
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
I won't disclose anything about the film. I liked it very it much, albeit slightly less than the first film, probably because, well, the first was very fresh and innovative in the way it presented this "theatrical" world and partly because of the shocking and raw power of the story of "Dogville". In "Manderlay" we also meet with hypocrisy and cruelty, but the movie moves on a different level than "Dogville". It is clearly more philosophical-political, it carries a more visible political agenda. It also relies upon dialogue more than "Dogville" did and of course the symbolism and allegory of the first film are present here, as well. Still, the movie is a masterpiece, in the same way "Dogville" was. Of course, someone can think otherwise (not to mention those people that will accuse Trier of being "Anti-American"), but having a different opinion about it is okay and acceptable. Personally, I can't wait to see how the trilogy is going to conclude.
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