THE IDIOTS is about a group of young people who share one interest: idiocy. With a large house as their base, they spend all their spare time together exploring the hidden and less apprecciated values of idiocy. They practise! The project is a manifestation of an explosive appetite for life in which they confront society with their idiocy. Nothing can be compared to the mutual feeling of success, every time their personal limits are transcended in yet another scenario.

By accident Karen meets three members of the group and unintentionally she gets involved in their little game. She gradually understands what they are up to, and at first she is angry, but eventually she begins to participate in their diversions.

Karen is different from the idiots. She is from a segment of society that hasn't got time to theorise over life and its qualities. She has been drifting aimlessly, and conceals a sadness that comes to the surface every now and then, but with the idiots she finds solace and understanding without prying questions. Soon she's drawn by the group's satanic games. She's attracted by their joy. And she becomes one of them.

For Axel, one of the members, family life and work become more and more difficult, because the idiots keep terrorising bis everyday life. For fun at first, but suddenly it isn't funny anymore. Axel isn't the only one to leave as the idiocy escalates, but the departures only strengthens the group's solidarity. Most stay; they want to live out the excessive feelings, the aggression, the curiosity and the uncontrolled, egotistical primitive sexuality.
lt is as a measure of the heights they scale that Stoffer suggests that they formalise the group's solidarity. Everybody has to undergo the ultimate test. A test that must be undergone at home, in front of their nearest and dearest, and which will separate the sheep from the goats. Only the seven strongest remain. Karen is the last one of the group to undergo the test.

"Lars von Trier returns to his roots with a local-language film shot under the rules of Dogma 95. The Idiots follows a group of self-pronounced 'retards' through their everyday lives. Professing to share only one interest - that of idiocy - the group are based at a large house and spend all their spare time together exploring the hidden and less appreciated values of idiocy. Personal limits are transcended as they confront society.
Karen, an outsider, unwittingly gets involved in their games but gradually begins to participate freely. However, fellow member Axel becomes increasingly disillusioned as the idiots keep terrorising his daily life and leaves along with others. The departures only strengthen the solidarity of the remaining seven group members, who must each undergo the ultimate test."

Director's Biography

Born in 1956.
Graduated as film director from the Danish Naational Film School in 1983.
Has directed more than 50 commercials and music videos for Danish and international clients.

1988 MEDEA
1991 - EUROPA
1991 - 2004 - DIMENSION
1994 - THE KINGDOM 1-4
1997 - THE KINGDOM 5-8

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Lars von Trier

Written by: Lars von Trier

Produced by: Vibeke Windelov

Cinematography: Lars von Trier

Editing: Molly Malene Stensgaard

Sound Design: Per Streit

Cast: Bodil Jørgensen (Karen), Jens Albinus (Stoffer), Anne Louise Hassing (Susanne), Troels Lyby (Henrik), Nikolaj Lie Kaas (Jeppe), Henrik Prip (Ped), Luis Mesonero (Miguel), Louise Mieritz (Josephine), Knud Romer Jørgensen (Axel), Trine Michelsen (Nana), Anne-Grethe Bjarup Riis (Katrine)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Screenwriter 1998
  • Feature Film Selection 1998