A group of perfectly intelligent young people decide to react to society's cult of an aimless, non-creative and non-responsible form of intelligence by living together in a community of "idiots". Their main activity becomes going out into the world of "normal" people and pretending to be mentally retarded. They take advantage of this situation to create anarchy everywhere they go and try by every possible means to make people annoyed, disturbed, miserable, ridiculous, angered, and shocked.

Society is the mother of all idiots.

The Idiots are a group of middle class young people who live in a kind of commune led by Stoffer – Jens Albinus – in a house owned by his uncle. They pretend to be mentally handicapped – to spazz – when they go out in public, ostensibly a stupid game to provoke bourgeois society. Into the group comes Karen – Bodil Jorgensen – who's a bemused onlooker at first and then increasingly involved in the activities and tensions of this strange group.

Von Trier apparently wrote the screenplay for The Idiots in four days. He used handheld cameras, no artificial light, no music, naturalistic performances and jump cuts to create a documentary feel. But the premise on which The Idiots operates is a bit of a puzzle. Is Von Trier saying that he believes redemption lies in the purity of the mentally impaired? There's a point at which this film seems to become just an indulgent exercise. And yet, there is something that makes you admire von Trier for creating an incredible reality within this silliness. Whether he's making any significant inroads into understanding the human condition is debatable.

David's comments:
The title is apt. The entire Dogma foolishness, if taken seriously, would amount to an infantile restriction of cinema's horizons – not a return to purity, but a self-important, dogmatic series of absurd regulations. Fortunately, we don't have to take them seriously; they're a joke, a publicity stunt. And this pathetic film by an anonymous director of overweening vanity and pretention, is inept, trivial, boring and visually unattractive.

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1 hour 57 min