On Saturday, January 28, 7:30 pm, the Walker Art Center presents
, the latest film in the series Premieres: First Look, an ongoing presentation of area film premieres that gives audiences an early look at tomorrow’s critically acclaimed classics. The second in director Lars von Trier’s trilogy of films set in the United States, Manderlay is shot in the same distinctive style as Dogville (which had its area premiere during Walker without Walls in March 2004). But whereas Dogville took xenophobia as its subject, Manderlay offers a withering and disturbing look at race relations, liberalism, and nation building.
Set in 1933, Manderlay continues the story of Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard, replacing Dogville‘s Nicole Kidman) and her father (Willem Dafoe) as they leave Dogville. Wandering through Alabama, they discover a gated plantation where, 70 years after the Civil War, the mostly black inhabitants still live under the tenets of slavery. Grace cannot help but intercede when she witnesses a slave (Isaach de Bankolé) being brutally whipped by a white master. The fearsome plantation owner and matriarch, Mam (Lauren Bacall), dies soon after. Grace presumes her death to be a blessing, but it terrifies the downtrodden inhabitants who’ve never known life without her or “Mam’s Law,” the plantation’s social bible. Wilhelm (Danny Glover) pleads with Grace to assist them in their transition to democracy. What emerges is a deeply disturbing, perversely comic parable about recent history and the consequences of introducing democracy to those who have never made a decision for themselves.
Tickets to this screening are $8 ($6 Walker members) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600. Screening takes place in the Walker Cinema.
Saturday, January 28, 7:30 pm
Directed by Lars von Trier
The second in Lars von Trier’s USA trilogy, Manderlay picks up almost immediately where Dogville left off, with Grace (now played by Bryce Dallas Howard) discovering an Alabama plantation where, 70 years after the end of the Civil War, slavery is still practiced behind closed doors. While Dogville was about greed overtaking an altruistic attempt at democracy, Manderlay is about forcing democracy on those who have never made a decision for themselves. The stellar cast, including Danny Glover, Willem Dafoe, and Lauren Bacall, tells a story that shifts from a critique of the institutional ideology of slavery to a broader observation of a social system that creates oppression. 2005, Denmark, color, 35mm, 139 minutes.