[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dogville4_4432.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:358:There's nothing beyond there.]]

''Dogville'' is a minimalist drama directed by Creator/LarsVonTrier and starring, among others, NicoleKidman, Paul Bettany and LaurenBacall. It's based on the poem "Jenny die Seeräuberbraut" ("Music/PirateJenny" or "The Black Freighter") from Creator/BertoltBrecht's ''Theatre/TheThreepennyOpera''. It's also inspired, in part, by Friedrich Dürrenmatt's play ''Theatre/TheVisit''. It is very, ''very'' hard to watch, and '''not for kids''', despite getting a 12+ rating in some countries.

The story focuses around Grace, a woman running from TheMafia, who hides in nearby Dogville and is found by Thomas Edison, Junior (no relation). Tom presents her to the townsfolk of Dogville who, at first, are reluctant to take care of her and accept her favors, but as time passes, they are more than willing to have Grace to do all the work around town. And all the... ''[[RapeAsDrama work]]'' around town.

The film is notorious for being shot in one sound stage, with the sets drawn on the floor and only a bare minimum of props visible. The minimalist aspects of the film, like the plot, are based on Creator/BertoltBrecht's epic theatre: Brecht once said a play never needs to be more complicated than "a man on a street corner re-enacting an accident for a crowd". He also stated that an actor should always be presented as themselves ''playing'' a character instead of as a character, to prevent total immersion, and to encourage critical reception. It shows.

At first it was conceived as trilogy, and the sequel, titled ''Manderlay'' (based in part on Brecht's opera ''Theatre/TheRiseAndFallOfTheCityOfMahagonny'') takes Grace ([[TheOtherDarrin now played by]] Bryce Dallas Howard) to the DeepSouth and comments on racism, but it was not as well-received as ''Dogville'' was. The third installment, ''Wasington'', [[DevelopmentHell may never get made]], but let's hope.

The film is highly popular as a topic of scientific research, and at least half of all publications about the film mention its trauma-inducing psychological effects. About half of those, in turn, ''focus'' on it.

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!!This film provides examples of:

* AristocratsAreEvil: Or in this case, rich people are evil [[spoiler:Averted with the townsfolk who manage to be evil while being miserably poor.]]
* AssholeVictim: The people of the town are all such massive pricks that you don't feel sympathy for ''any'' of them when [[spoiler: MafiaPrincess Grace orders the mobsters to kill them all.]]
* BreakTheCutie: Grace.
* BreakTheHaughty: [[spoiler:Vera]]
* CassandraTruth: [[spoiler:Chuck is never quite convinced Grace is what she seems she is. At the end he's right.]]
* CityInABottle
* ConfessionCam: Used by the director, so the actors could cope with the [[spoiler:gruesome shooting]]. It's on the DVD extras.
* DawsonCasting: Intentionally so. Grace seems to be barely out of puberty. She's played by NicoleKidman.
* TheDitz: Ben Henson, no matter how much he studies, he continues to be as dumb as a doorknob.
* ElephantInTheLivingRoom: Mr. [=McKay=] is blind, everyone knows he's blind, yet nobody dares to mention such a thing in front of him.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: TheMafia, who are quite comfortable with murder and extortion, are horrified and outraged when they discover that Grace has been abused and chained to her bed. [[spoiler: Of course, this is most likely because she was the daughter of their boss.]]
* HumansAreBastards: Something of a common theme in Creator/LarsVonTrier's work.
* {{Hypocrite}}: The townsfolk find it increasingly easy to rationalize and justify their increasingly exploitative and abusive treatment of Grace.
* InWhichATropeIsDescribed
* InfantImmortality: [[spoiler:Averted.]]
* InterrogationByVandalism: the townspeople torture Grace by smashing her porcelain figures.
* IronicEcho: [[spoiler:Grace tells the mobsters to kill a kid named Jason first, then tell his mother that if she can hold back her tears they won't kill the rest. This comes after the woman in question smashed the dolls that Grace had bought with money she got from helping the townspeople, telling her that if she could hold back her tears she wouldn't destroy the rest.]]
* KickTheDog: Happens a LOT in this movie, and the movie showcases the dangers of Dog Kicking. [[spoiler: Literally averted at the end, where Grace prevents the mafia from killing the dog]].
* KickTheSonOfABitch [[spoiler:Grace may have been wrong in ordering the deaths of the townspeople but it's hard not to understand why she did it.]]
* [[spoiler:KillEmAll]]: Nicole Kidman's character takes the name of this trope literally and indeed sends her goons to kill the entire village, except the dog.
* MadeASlave: Implicit from the beginning, made real in Chapter 6.
* TheMafia: The people looking for Grace.
* MafiaPrincess: [[spoiler:Grace turns out to be one.]]
* MessianicArchetype: Grace throughout pretty much the whole play. She offers inspiration and kindness, asking only to be allowed to help others and live peacefully among them. Eventually, she suffers for the sins of others and even ends up lugging around a cross-analog. In the end [[spoiler: she's offered up as a sacrifice by the towns people and her father shows up to save her. Then it's all turned on its head when he talks her OUT of turning the other cheek any longer and she has the town wiped out for what they did to her]]
* {{Minimalism}}: in order to focus more on the characters and their actions and avoid immersion in the story (related to Bertolt Brecht ideas about epic theater) the entire village of Dogville drawn with chalk in the floor in a sound stage.
** Even the town dog, Moses, is just a drawing on the floor. [[spoiler: Until the very final moment in the movie, where the drawing shifts into an actual dog, barking at the sky. The dog being the only living thing remaining in the village makes this mildly creepy.]]
** Also pays off in a big, BIG way when [[spoiler:Grace is raped.]] The audience can see the crime taking place - and can also see the townspeople milling around obliviously while it occurs.
* MiddleOfNowhereStreet
* PaintingTheMedium: On many different levels. Including a textual example: when Grace quotes directly from "Music/PirateJenny", she is genuinely shocked by what she says, and the narrator explains that Grace is wondering where such words would come from. Grace proceeds to [[spoiler: accept her identity as a Jenny-character and act out the ending of "Music/PirateJenny" almost to the letter]].
-->'''Tom:''' Although using people is not very charming, I think you have to agree that this - specific illustration has surpassed all expectations. It says so much about being human! It's been painful, but [[WrongGenreSavvy I think you'll also have to agree it's been edifying, wouldn't you say]]?
* PayEvilUntoEvil
* PetTheDog: A quite literal example.
* PremiseVille
* RapeAsDrama
* ResignationsNotAccepted: Subverted. Although Grace is held captive and her attempts to leave just lead her right back to the village, it turns out to be [[spoiler: the result of her own stubborn decisions]].
* ShoutOut: Some lines in the film are directly lifted from "Music/PirateJenny", most notably: "Nobody gonna sleep here...".
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: Liz.
* TheOtherDarrin: Bryce Dallas Howard replaced Kidman for ''Manderlay''. Presumably, Howard herself will be replaced if the third installment ever gets out of DevelopmentHell.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech Most notable is [[spoiler: the Mafia Don's one to Grace, calling her arrogant for holding impossible high standards for herself; and forgiving everyone else for failing to meet them. She realizes he's right, and tells the Mob to KillEmAll.]]
* TheSmartGuy: Tom likes to see himself as such, [[KnowNothingKnowItAll though he isn't]].
* TownWithADarkSecret: Grace is the dark secret.
* WhatTheHellTownspeople: Dogville is a character study about this trope. The character of a town.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Grace. Made all the more ambiguous by the discussion just before the ending, where it suddenly becomes very clear that she's only a child.
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