Dogville and The Da Vinci Code – the Movie

The Da Vinci Code was released this week. Other than giving those people who didn’t find the time to spend two hours reading, and who would instead prefer to spend the best part of three hours watch a B-grade film promoting a work of fiction based upon the delusion that it is true.

To me, it’s amazing that despite the book being overtly fictional, being sold as a work of fiction, and a series of contradictions of most of the exciting intimations in the book, people still think that it’s real. In case you missed it: The Da Vinci Code is fiction!

Yet, like so many movies, it presents some useful insights, suggestions and perhaps even the odd interesting stimulus to lead us forward. One of the movies that I found most provocative was Dogville.

Dogville is about arrogance. It is about what happens when you are able to do what you want… and whether that’s good enough. Arrogance is usually taken to focus on egocentrism and self-centredness; yet the character Grace faces the following realisation:

F: Rapist and murderers may be the victims… but I call them dogs. And if they’re lapping up their own vomit, the only way to stop them is with the lash.
G: But if they only obey their own nature why shouldn’t we forgive them?
F: Dogs can be taught many useful things but not if we forgive them every time they obey their own nature.
G: So I’m arrogant? I’m arrogant because I forgive people?
F: Can’t you see how condescending you are when you say that? You have this preconceived notion that nobody can possibly attain the same high ethical standards as you… so you exonerate them… My dear child, you forgive others with excuses that you would never in the world permit for yourself.
G: Why shouldn’t I be merciful?
F: No, no, no: You should be merciful. When there is time to be merciful. But you must maintain your own standard… You owe them that… Every human being needs to be accountable for their actions, but you don’t even give them that chance. And that is extremely arrogant.

Thought provoking… somewhat like The Fountainhead.