by Lars Von Trier
by Lars Von Trier
On the train ride to Eden, he asks her to envision the forest and for the first time we get the sense that the natural world terrifies her. When they actually arrive, she runs headlong through the woods not stopping or slowing despite the massive amount of luggage she carries. His first bit of treatment involves trying to conquer this fear. He asks her to walk from one rock to another on the grass, maybe a length of ten feet and she behaves like as if he were leading to the gas chamber. They perform a few exercises and then gets several glimpses into his wife’s psyche both before and after the accident. The most worrying discovery is the collection of notes and pictures she kept in the attic about her thesis “Gynocide”. But of course, this is only the start. His exercises do seem to get places in her psyche, but the tricky thing about their relationship is that he’s not really respectful of the notion that he’s both her husband and her therapist. He wants to wield all the power but every gesture she makes will effect him two-fold. She’s understandably upset because when she wants to drown out her pain by having sex with him, which she does quite frequently, his clinical answer may just sound cold and unfeeling. So while he may think he’s doing the right thing, to her he’s doing the wrong thing. Before long she loses her patience with him, which coincides with her sanity giving way to the thoughts and suspicions she’s harbored for a long while. She essentially has bought into the things she was researching about the ways in which women were treated in ancient times and comes to believe that womankind is the most evil thing of all, second or perhaps equal to the natural world that surrounds them. After she confessing this to him he wanders off to think, the biggest mistake he’s ever made. She accuses him of running off and when he refuses to have sex with her, she crushes his genitals with a bit of firewood, drills a hole in his leg and screws in a stone tablet used for sharpening tools. He wakes up alone realizing that his wife and the woman who has done this to him are no longer the same person and he flees, but how far can one get with a giant stone on their leg? She’s got to find him eventually after all who knows the place better than she does? If she does what punishment awaits him?