The Five Obstructions

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Released 2003

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The Five Obstructions

Movie Summary

Director:
Lars von Trier , Jorgen Leth
Released:
2003
Rating:
R
The Five Obstructions is a 2003 documentary directed by Juergen Leth and Lars von Trier. This experimental film examines the history and evolution of documentaries, with an emphasis on the directorial styles of Leth and von Trier. Interviews and documentary footage are interwoven with portions of notable films helmed by the pair of directors. Leth accepts a formidable challenge from von Trier (his former student): direct five remakes of the 1967 film "The Perfect Human," (directed by Leth and also von Trier's favorite film). Each iteration of this experiment requires Leth to overcome an obstacle during production. For example, von Trier instructs his fellow director to film one of the remakes in "the worst place on earth," and to avoid showing that location on camera. Another must be filmed entirely in Cuba, without sets, and with no shot longer than 12 frames. Leth is up for the challenge and travels all over the world to conquer the five obstructions.

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    A complete original. This ingenious, almost indescribable film won't remind you of anything else because there's nothing else like it.

  • 80

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    Watching The Five Obstructions is at once like witnessing two chess masters playing dominoes and like spying on a series of therapy sessions. Mr. von Trier clearly sees himself as ...

  • 80

    Variety David Stratton

    Though billed as a documentary, The Five Obstructions doesn't easily fall into any category. Perhaps it's best described as a game, in which a pair of Danish film directors from di...

Lars von Trier

Lars von Trier

Himself

Jorgen Leth

Jorgen Leth

Voice-over - from 'Det perfekte menneske' / Himself

Jacqueline Arenal

Jacqueline Arenal

Star

Majken Algren Nielsen

Majken Algren Nielsen

The Perfect Woman - from 'Det perfekte menneske'

Claus Nissen

Claus Nissen

The Perfect Man - from 'Det perfekte menneske'

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More Info About This Movie

Categories

Arts, Documentary

Themes

Film History & Film Making, Art & Artists, Foreign Language