Journal Article

Women, Suffering and Redemption in Three Films of Lars von Trier

Carleen Mandolfo

in Literature and Theology

Volume 24, issue 3, pages 285-300
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online August 2010 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frq035
Women, Suffering and Redemption in Three Films of Lars von Trier

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In Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark director Lars von Trier experiments with the limits of sacrificial notions of atonement by gendering his Christ figures as females who sacrifice their lives for the men they love. Many feminist critics find in this formulation a reinscription of patriarchal hegemony. While posing the same scenario initially, Dogville ultimately offers a justice-oriented, rather than sacrificial, model of redemption. An intertextual reading of all three films results in an appropriately complex understanding of Judeo-Christian models of salvation that may bridge the critical divide between von Trier’s sceptics and ‘believers’.

Journal Article.  7132 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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