Danish enfant terrible Lars von Trier’s spellbinding deconstruction of sacred American values, Dogville was the first chapter in his as-yet-unfinished “USA trilogy.” A beautiful, seemingly naive fugitive named Grace (played spectacularly by Nicole Kidman) arrives at a small town in the Rocky Mountains, hiding from gangsters; at first she is welcomed by her new neighbors, but she soon finds herself a convenient scapegoat for their own moral shortcomings, a receptacle for their deep-seated bitterness, and finally—and spectacularly—an avenging angel of biblical proportions. In an extension of the Dogme 95 aesthetic he helped to popularize—and in staunch defiance of the CGI era—Trier shot Dogville entirely on an empty soundstage, the “set” nothing more than a chalk outline on the floor, the town and its environs conveyed through the power of suggestion and the viewer’s own imagination. The result is a visionary work of cinema and one of the essential films of the 21st century.