This article argues that the structures of spectatorial complicity offered in Lars von Trier’s films illustrate how entwined cinema, sexuality, and the political can be. Antichrist and Nymphomaniac are especially apt films through which to explore the question of spectatorial complicity since both incite strong feelings through scenarios of sex and sexualized violence. Both films assail the viewer with scenes that might be difficult or pleasurable to watch, and which have an uncertain relationship to these apparently socially-engaged themes. The politics of these films depends upon the generation of an intense and perversely destabilizing affective relationship with the spectator.

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