Bizarre Revolutionary Polemics
Release Date: September 23, 2005
Starring: Jamie Bell, Bill Pullman,
Michael Angarano, Danso
Gordon, Novella Nelson, Chris
Owen, Allison Pill, and Mark
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Rating: Not Rated
Runtime: 100 minutes
Distributor: Wellspring Media
Director: Thomas Vinterburg
Executive Producer: Peter Garde
Producer: Sisse Graum Jorgensen
Writer: Lars Von Trier
Address Comments To:Ryan Werner
Head, Theatrical Distribution
Wellspring Media, Inc.
419 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 686-6777
Fax: (212) 685-2625
Dick is a young loner who finds little affinity with his peers or the mining town where he lives. Despite his pacifist views, he finds himself strangely drawn to the vintage handgun that he discovers is not a toy. Dick forms a secret club with other young misfits who collect and revere antique guns and call themselves "The Dandies."
Dick's hold on the group is soon challenged, however, by Sebastian, the young criminal son of his family's retired maid, who is black. A unique challenge presents Dick with a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of his pistol-packin' friends, but unforeseen circumstances result in chaos and violence.
DEAR WENDY may remind some of Lindsay Anderson's movie IF. . ., about a public school student in England who turns into a violent revolutionary. Unlike that movie, however, the filmmakers don't really understand the society they are criticizing. The result is a bizarre, unrealistic, polemic movie that reflects the self-reflective, revolutionary (in a political sense more than an aesthetic one) theatrical techniques of the Marxist playwright, Bertolt Brecht (THREEPENNY OPERA and GALILEO).
Ultimately, DEAR WENDY expresses a Romantic worldview, which posits that human beings are basically good, but are corrupted by society. Instead of being corrupted by Christianity, the characters in DEAR WENDY are corrupted by guns, which are inanimate objects. Parts of the movie also suggest that Dick is corrupted by the racist attitudes with which he has been raised. Thus, Sebastian threatens Dick's feelings of white privilege. Dick is irate that Sebastian has the gall to undermine Dick's power of authority over the Dandies.
DEAR WENDY is also a politically correct attack on American values and America's use of guns and military weapons on various peacekeeping missions. As such, it represents a naïve view of the dangerous world we live in today. It also reflects a lack of understanding about the positive effects of gun ownership, which, studies have clearly shown, actually reduces violent crime. Like the young rebels in the movie, Americans are dangerous, naïve "pacifists with guns," the movie is saying. Thus, the rest of the world should fear Americans and control them (perhaps through political indoctrination, the United Nations or some other socialist/communist strategy).
Finally, twice during the movie, the filmmakers use the song "Battle Hymn of the Republic," including lyrics referring to Jesus Christ, in a mocking, ironic, satirical way. Thus, the movie displays a politically correct, anti-Christian attitude that also fits in with its irrational Romantic attack on American society and guns. The movie suggests that rousing songs about Jesus Christ and His Truth ultimately lead to irrational violence (violence in self-defense or in defense of the innocent is not always irrational or evil; Jesus condemns murder and supports peaceful efforts to redeem all people, but He never condemns justice nor legitimate forms of violence).
DEAR WENDY expresses a Romantic worldview, which posits that human beings are basically good, but are corrupted by society. The characters in DEAR WENDY are corrupted by guns – inanimate objects. Ultimately, the movie is a politically correct attack on American values and Americans' use of guns and military weapons. The filmmakers don't really understand American society, however. Their Neo-Marxist ideology has blinded them. The result is a bizarre, unrealistic, polemic movie that is not very satisfying.