Dancer in the Dark

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Dancer In The Dark is a 2000 film about Selma Ježková, a Czech immigrant and single mom who suffers from a hereditary degenerative disease that will inevitably cause her to go blind, who moved to the United States hoping to give her son a surgery that will save him from the same fate.

Directed by Lars von Trier. Written by Lars von Trier.
You don't need eyes to see. taglines

Selma Ježková

  • In Czechoslovakia, I saw a film, and they were eating candy from a tin just like this. I thought to myself... how wonderful it must be in the United States.
  • I've got little games I play when it goes really hard. When I'm working in the factory... and the machines, they make these... rhythms... And I just start dreaming, and it all becomes music.
  • Clatter, crash, clack! Racket, bang, thump! Rattle, clang, crack, thud, whack, bam! It's music, now dance!
  • I used to dream that I was in a musical coz in a musical nothing dreadful ever happens.


Selma: You're fantastic. You just have to listen to your heart, Cvalda.
Kathy: I don't want you to call me Cvalda.
Selma: You're Cvalda to me.

Selma: [in the cinema, asking description of the movie because she can't see] How is she doing?
Kathy: It's when she cannot keep up, and she's going to faint. Ah, she fainted.
Angry man: Please be quiet.
Kathy: Oh, give us a break. She doesn't see that well.
Angry man: I paid good money to see this film.
Kathy: Well, so did she.
Selma: I love it when they dance.
Angry man: For Pete's sake, it's a musical. Of course they're dancing!
Kathy: We know that!
Angry man: Oh, you're so smart.
Kathy: Yes.
Selma: I think you made friends, Kathy. [laughing]

Selma: Would it make you feel better If I told you a secret?
Bill: What secret could you tell me?
Selma: I'm going blind. Not yet, but... soon. Maybe sometime this year.
Bill: Blind...
Selma: It's not as bad as it sounds. It's, uh... It's a family thing.
Bill: But, blind?
Selma: I've always known it. From... when I was a little girl, I knew.
Bill: And you're okay?
Selma: Well, I came to America because in America, they can give Gene an operation.

Selma: You know when the camera goes really big and it comes up out of the roof, and you just know that it's gonna end? I hate that. I used to cheat on that when I was a little girl back in Czechoslovakia. I would leave the cinema just after the next to last song, and the film would just go on forever. It's lovely, isn't it?
Bill: That is lovely.

Jeff: Look, I don't understand. In musicals... why do they start to sing and dance all of a sudden? I mean, I don't suddenly start... to sing and dance.
Selma: No... You're right, Jeff. You don't.

Jeff: You can't see, can you?
Selma: What is there to see?

Brenda: Why don't you try to think of something nice, all right?
Selma: It's just so quiet here.
Brenda: What's that got to do with it, Selma?
Selma: You know, when I used to work in the factory... I used to dream that I was in a musical... Because, in a musical, nothing dreadful ever happens.

Kathy: But he needs his mother, you know, alive, no matter where!
Selma: You don't understand! He needs his eyes!
Kathy: He needs his mother!
Selma: No!
Kathy: Yes! Alive!
Selma: NO!!
Kathy: Listen to reason for once, Selma! Selma...
Selma: I listen to my heart...

Jeff: Why did you have him? You knew he would have the same disease as you.
Selma: I just wanted to hold a little baby... just in my arms.


  • You don't need eyes to see.
  • In a world of shadows, she found the light of life.


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