In a small and conservative Scottish village, a woman’s paralytic husband convinces her to have extramarital intercourse so she can tell him about it and give him a reason for living.
A barren soundstage is stylishly utilized to create a minimalist small-town setting in which a mysterious woman named Grace hides from the criminals who pursue her. The town is two-faced and offers to harbor Grace as long as she can make it worth their effort, so Grace works hard under the employ of various townspeople to win their favor. Tensions flare, however, and Grace’s status as a helpless outsider provokes vicious contempt and abuse from the citizens of Dogville.
Selma, a Czech immigrant on the verge of blindness, struggles to make ends meet for herself and her son, who has inherited the same genetic disorder and will suffer the same fate without an expensive operation. When life gets too difficult, Selma learns to cope through her love of musicals, escaping life’s troubles – even if just for a moment – by dreaming up little numbers to the rhythmic beats of her surroundings.
Two men answer the call of the ocean in this romantic fantasy-adventure. Jacques and Enzo are a pair of friends who have been close since childhood, and who share a passion for the dangerous sport of free diving. Professional diver Jacques opted to follow in the footsteps of his father, who died at sea when Jacques was a boy; to the bewilderment of scientists, Jacques harbors a remarkable ability to adjust his heart rate and breathing pattern in the water, so that his vital signs more closely resemble that of dolphins than men (he even considers a school of dolphins as his extended family). As Enzo persuades a reluctant Jacques to compete against him in a free diving contest — determining who can dive deeper and longer without scuba gear — Jacques meets Johana, a beautiful insurance investigator from America, and he finds that he must choose between his love for her and his love of the sea.
Nearly 13, Alice rebels, telling the Paris police that her mother is a murderer. Alice has no evidence; her mother, Eva, rich and powerful, avoids charges. Alice promptly runs away, determined to find her dad whom she claims lives in Portugal. The police believe he is dead and that Alice is in denial. Nonetheless, they dispatch Anita, an Italian police officer on loan to the French, to find Alice and bring her back. Meanwhile, Eva has launched her own paramilitary force to hunt for Alice, and Alice has found a protector in Hugo, an ex-soldier turned hit man and gang member. He promises to get her to her father. All roads lead to a small town on the Portuguese coast.
In 1933, after leaving Dogville, Grace Margaret Mulligan sees a slave being punished at a cotton farm called Manderlay. Officially slavery is illegal and Grace stands up against the owners of the farm. She stays with some gangsters in Manderlay and tries to influence the situation. But when harvest time comes Grace sees the social and economic reality of Manderlay.