Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier is a sadist, and a proud one at that. He likes to put his characters (mostly women) through hell and back just to see if they’ll come out the other side. They do, and it’s uplifting—until you stop to wonder if they needed to go so low in the first place. Then again, that’s life. Dancer in the Dark might be his best, and Björk might be his best conduit. She plays Selma, a Czech immigrant suffering from a degenerative eye disorder. It’s a rare, hereditary disease, and it’ll steal her sight but not the song in her heart. To save her son from a similar fate, Selma works tirelessly in a dreary Pacific Northwest factory pinching pennies to pay for his surgery. Would that it were so simple. Streaming on Kanopy.

The above blurb first appeared in the pages of Boulder Weekly Vol. 27, No. 40, “Home Viewing: Palm d’Or Winners.”