Woman in Lars von Trier’s Cinema, 1996–2014

  • Ahmed Elbeshlawy

About this book


This book discusses the figure of Woman in Lars von Trier’s distinctive cinematic productions from 1996 to 2014. It takes the notorious legacy of violence against women in von Trier’s cinema beyond the perceived gender division, elevating the director’s image above being a mere provocateur. By raising fundamental questions about woman, sexuality, and desire, Elbeshlawy shows that Trier’s cinematic Woman is an attempt at creating an image of a genderless subject that is not inhibited by the confines of ideology and culture. But this attempt is perennially ill-fated. And it is this failure that not only fosters viewing enjoyment but also gives the films their political importance, elevating them above both commendations and condemnations of feminist discourse.

Ahmed Elbeshlawy is an independent scholar and occasional lecturer. He is author of America in Literature and Film (2011) and has contributed articles to The Comparatist (2008), the forthcoming Palgrave Handbook to Literature and the CityandFe/Male Bodies (2005/6).


Lars von Trier Woman Pornography Violence Breaking the Waves Idioterne The Idiots Dancer in the Dark Dogville Gender Manderlay Antichrist Melancholia Nymphomaniac Dogma 95 Charlotte Gainsbourg Lacan Psychoanalysis Feminism Sexuality

Authors and affiliations

  • Ahmed Elbeshlawy
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Professional and Continuing EducationHong Kong UniversityHong Kong

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