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Idioterne (the Idiots) (1998)
Starring: Bodil Jorgensen, Jens Albinus, Anne Louise Hassing, Henrik Prip, Knud Romer Jorgensen, Louise Mieritz, Luis Mesonero, Nicolaj Lie Kaas, Paprika Steen, Trine Michelsen, Troels Lyby
Director: Lars Von Trier
Category: Comedy, Drama
Studio: Polygram Entertainment
109 mins



Lars Von Trier's first contribution to Denmark's Dogme 95 collective (subtitled "Dogme 2," following Thomas Vinterberg's THE CELEBRATION) concerns a group of young adults who decide to get in touch with their "inner idiot." When Karen (Bodil Jorgensen), a shy, sensitive young woman, follows a group of mentally disabled individuals home after an encounter at a restaurant, she discovers that they are, in fact, healthy and intelligent. Led by Stoffer (Jens Albinus), the group lives communally in his wealthy uncle's house. Stoffer believes that by "spazzing" in public they are rejecting the conformity and normality of modern society, and spends his unemployed days thinking of different ways to toy with the world at large.

Shot with hand-held digital cameras and using natural lighting and natural locations, THE IDIOTS possesses an urgency that makes it feel like a documentary. Von Trier sparked a heated controversy with his decision to film the sex scenes with actual intercourse, adhering to the Dogme tenets (he hired porn actors for the close-ups). This controversy aside, the film nonetheless raises questions about cultism, modern ethics, and the idea of individuality within the absurdity of the characters' world.


Critic's Reviews
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