Synopsis by Gönül Dönmez-Colin
Mifunes Sidste Sang is the third feature produced according to the Dogma 95 manifesto, ten strict rules drawn up by the Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg. The title of the film refers to the late Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune, who played a bogus samurai of peasant origins in Akira Kurosawa's Shichinin no Samurai/ Seven Samurai. The protagonist, Kresten, comes from humble country origins but now lives in the yuppie circles of Copenhagen and has the prospects of a glittering career until a telephone call on his wedding night shatters his hopes of a better life. Kresten's father has just died; he has always told everyone he knows, including his wife Claire, that he has no living family, but now he has to explain he does have one after all. When he returns to his father's dilapidated farmhouse, he meets his elder brother Rud, who is mentally retarded. Kresten is embarrassed by the prospect of having his poverty-stricken past unveiled and keeps his wife away, telling one lie after another. While trying to settle things on the farm, he becomes attached to his brother and tries to find a housekeeper to help alleviate the horrible conditions he is living in, so Kresten can go back to his comfortable life without feelings of guilt. However, the housekeeper turns out to be a high-class hooker on the run, and Kresten is extremely attracted to her. Meanwhile his wife, who is beginning to get suspicious, is threatening to join him. The basic philosophy behind the film is you can't lie your way out of the past on the farm. Director Soren Kragh-Jacobsen followed the Dogma 95 rules closely in this film -- the music is recorded along with the images, the camera is hand-held, there is no artificial lighting, no props, the plot takes place here and now without superficial action, no guns or murders. But unlike Lars von Trier's Dogma film, The Idiots, it was not shot on video and the director admits to adding a shrub or two to the farm scenes. Mifunes Sidste Sang-Dogme 3 received the Jury Grand Prix Silver Bear at the 49th Berlin International Film Festival in 1999, while actress Iben Hjejle got a Special Mention for her role as Liva, the prostitute.
ambition, family, shame, upbringing, brother, dishonesty, marriage, prostitute/prostitution, farming, housekeeper, yuppies
High Artistic Quality