our film reviews: from armchair viewing to the festival front row

11 December 2006

[Reel-Reviews] Dear Wendy (4 stars)

This is not a critique of America and the country’s relationship with guns. Both von Trier and Vinterberg have said so, so it must be true, right? And obviously, nothing that either of them has said previously has ever had a spin on it for controversy’s sake, or their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks. No, no, no, of course not. So this is not a film about American gun culture, right?

As Jamie “Billy Elliot” Bell’s excellent Dick Dandelion says: “The regulations are, that the most important thing for a Dandy [one of the gang] is never to show off his partner [gun], whatever the provocation. We carry them as moral supports. And that's the most important thing. They may be carried, but never brandished. That would be the worst thing of all. [contiunes as voice-over narrative] Not one of us were in doubt about the most important thing of all. The reason why our partners could only be fired in the darkness of the old mine and could never be exposed to full light and thereby be woken up. Because once awoken nothing could stop them from following their true nature and killing. And it was so forbidden to say that word, that we called it "loving" instead. And "loving" could never ever happen because that would be the end of it all."

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