This article argues that, while it is not apparent, Lars von Trier’s musical Dancer in the Dark (2000) has a crucial religious dimension. Specifically, von Trier’s film enacts a sustained allegory of Christian redemption and further uses the genre of the musical to evoke von Trier’s vision of Christian religiosity. This article also discusses the larger implications of viewing Dancer as a religious film. Doing so enables us to see how Dancer is a companion piece to von Trier’s explicitly religious Breaking the Waves (1996). It also enables us to strengthen our view of von Trier as a religious filmmaker and to place him within the tradition of European religious filmmakers like Carl Theodor Dreyer (his fellow countryman), Robert Bresson and Ingmar Bergman, even as we observe how he remakes the European religious film by approaching it with playfulness and provocativeness.
"“What Kind of Magic is This? How Come I Can’t Help Adore You?”: Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark as a Religious Film,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 15
, Article 16.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol15/iss1/16