Often looking rather like a filmed acting workshop, von Trier's first movie made according to the back-to-basics 'Dogma 95' manifesto centres on the emotional and social dynamics of a group of people who, for various reasons, go around pretending to be mentally and/or physically handicapped. What little plot there is charts the tensions that lead some of them to consider leaving the cult, but the film's real interest lies in its exploration of different kinds of 'performance', and in its often very funny satirical look at the way 'normal' society treats 'abnormal' people. Emotionally and intellectually, the movie never quite delivers on its promise, and the frequent views of the boom, the shadow of the camera crew and so forth are irritating distractions (manifesto or not, this is not 'pure' cinema), but it is consistently intriguing, involving, and finally quite unlike anything else.
Cast and crew
Nikolaj Lie Kaas