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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 March, 2005, 12:21 GMT
Director cuts dead donkey scenes
Lars von Trier
Lars von Trier is known for breaking movie conventions
Danish director Lars Von Trier has cut scenes of a butchered donkey from his forthcoming movie, bowing to pressure from animal rights campaigners.

Von Trier said that while his conscience was clear over the death of the donkey in Manderlay, he did not want the row to overshadow the film.

Actor John C Reilly quit the project early on because of his concerns about animal welfare.

Manderlay is the second film in a trilogy, following on from Dogville.

Von Trier assured animal lovers the donkey had been put down "as compassionately as possible", using an injection.

In a statement, he said he had taken the "unusual" step of cutting all the scenes showing the dead donkey after a barrage of letters.

He said: "In my view the political and social content of the film is so important that it would be sad if it could be rejected or ignored merely by referring to the 'donkey problem', as it was called in the papers.

"You might say that this renders the death of the donkey in conjunction with the making of the film meaningless; however, you may still rejoice in the fact that it escaped slaughter."

Nicole Kidman
Kidman: Replaced because of heavy workload

The production crew had originally sought to use a dummy donkey, but when that did not work they sought one that was to be slaughtered.

Nicole Kidman played the character of Grace in Dogville, the first in the trilogy, but has been replaced by The Village star Dallas Bryce Howard for the second film because her heavy workload would have held up the production.

Dogville was shot entirely in a studio using the minimum of props, to give it a feeling of a stage play.

Review: Dogville
13 Feb 04 |  Entertainment
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24 Jul 03 |  Entertainment
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18 May 03 |  Entertainment


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