Dancer in the Dark (2000)
The experience of watching this unique musical tragedy by Danish director Lars Von Trier is burned on my brain. I was a new mum and it was a rare moment when the baby was asleep and I had a few hours to watch a film.
Starring the singer Björk Guðmundsdóttir, it’s a profoundly sad story of a Czech woman in the USA who finds that it is not like it is depicted in Hollywood films. Interspersed with odd but enthralling musical scenes, what makes the film so good begins and ends with Björk. She is astounding and it is heart-breaking that her mistreatment by Von Trier during the making of the film meant she never acted in a feature film again.
It was not the best film to watch when you’ve just had your first child; I sobbed hard during the last half of it and felt emotionally wrung out for a few hours afterwards. I had never been so affected by a film before. Although I thought it was exceptional, there is no way I would put myself through that trauma again and it is doubly sad to read Björk’s very restrained allegations about Von Trier’s abuse – he sounds like so many other powerful and entitled men who have no idea why their behaviour is no longer acceptable.
Have you seen this film and did it affect you as much as it did me? Do you have a film that you love but can’t rewatch?
Posted as part of the 30-Day Fillums Challenge, created by me. If you want to see what’s coming up, have a look at my post here and feel free to join in by commenting each day with your own choice.
Coming Next: Day 28: Your favourite non-English language film