In 1933 Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard
) and her father (Willem Dafoe
) left the township of Dogville behind them. Grace’s father and his army of villains had spent the entire winter seeking out new hunting grounds in vain, and now they were heading south in one last attempt to find a favorable location in which to take up residence.
By chance their cars stop in the state of Alabama in front of a large iron gate bearing a thick chain and a padlock. Beside the gate, Manderlay
is hewn in monumental letters in granite. Just as Grace, her father and his men are about to leave, a young black woman runs up to the car. Grace follows the girl through the gates of Manderlay and there, finds a group of people living as if slavery had not been abolished 70 years earlier, with white masters and black slaves…