I wrote another review without spoilers last week, and I have more to say about "Dogville."
A quick plot synopsis: Grace Mulligan (Nicole Kidman) arrives in Dogville, pursued by gangsters. Throughout the story, law enforcement officers are looking for her. Everyone thinks she is in danger and hiding from gangsters and the law. Meanwhile Tom Edison Jr (Bettany) is an aspiring writer - who hasn't produced, but is full of ideas about moral rearmament and community values. He has the typical liberal intellectual's opinion of the common man - the common man is a pretty reasonable guy - or might be if he knew as much as the intellectual, listened to reason and lived up to expectations.
Tom convinces the townspeople to grant refuge to Grace. She will work for her keep, a half hour or hour in each household in the small town. She will prove her worth and people will learn to trust her. Tom wants to observe his plan in action and to write about it.
Grace is a true idealist naif. She buys into to Tom's idea. At first no one wants her, and then she becomes indispensible, and she is exploited and abused in every way. The abuse comes as hostility from Lauren Bacall's character, ingratitude by others, consistent exploitation of her labour and eventually sexual abuse from every man in town except Edison. It starts with the man who has an apple orchard, who is married to Vera (Clarkson) and has a pile of grubby kids. He insists on sex with Grace as a sign of "respect" for him and his work. When Vera finds out, she blames Grace, and exacts an emotionally draining punishment. Grace has been collecting porcelain figures to decorate her shack, and Vera starts to break them. As Vera starts, she promises not to break any more if Grace can hold back tears. Grace finds that she has become attached to these little signs of her hope for independence and love, and she cannot hold back her tears.