Lars von Trier on the set of Dogville (2003)
Posts tagged dogville.
On the Nature of Dogs, the Right of Grace, Forgiveness and Hospitality: Derrida, Kant, and Lars Von Trier’s Dogville
It must be noted that Grace responds to all forms of abuse with forgiveness and mercy – with grace even. As her name suggests, Grace embodies the unconditional and the infinite. If grace is precisely the infinite gift – that is, immeasurable – there can be no adequate exchange or response: grace/Grace can only be abused. The hospitable response to the infinite is to attempt to pull it into the finite, to commit the violence of the host. In this sense, conditional hospitality might be called the unforgivable sin: to protect the ipseity of the host and to protect the possibility of hospitality, the other’s absolute otherness cannot be forgiven but, rather, effaced.
Grace’s response (the graceful response) to this unforgiving, unforgivable hospitality can only be continued forgiveness: forgiveness “must” be unconditional, “granted to theguilty as guilty”(52), if it is to be forgiveness at all. In a way, only the unforgivable is at all forgivable. While Dogville’s response to Grace is necessarily abusive, she, as the embodiment of grace, must respond to increasing abuse with unending forgiveness.[….]
Dogville did indeed have a problem receiving unconditionally and could only offer hospitality conditionally, and therefore monstrously. Grace, his illustrative gift, who continually gave herself and forgave her host, was consumed utterly by Dogville. A successful staging of the violence of the host indeed.
But then Tom did not take into account the violence inherent in both the conditional and unconditional. The same moment in which Dogville, the monstrous host, consumed Grace, is also the same moment which allows Grace to devour Dogville. It would appear that, in the relationship of hospitality, both the guest and the host have the potential to overwhelm, efface, or consume the other; but simultaneously, to gain the position of dominance within that relationship is also to suffer the same violent possibilities of hospitality. Hospitality, then, is the experience, or the possibility, of impossibility: there, were it is impossible, there is hospitality.
Epic, must-read on the philosophical and fairy tale underpinnings of this very challenging film.
Bondage in the films in Lars von Trier: DOGVILLE (2003) and ANTICHRIST (2009)