The Five Obstructions (2003)

Film details

Alternative titles

  • De FEM BENSPÆND Original
  • 5 OBSTRUCTIONS Alternative


Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier sets Jørgen Leth, the director of a 1967 short he likes entitled "The Perfect Human" the task of re-making the film in five different ways according to 'obstructions' put to him by Trier. The first version may have no shots longer than 12 frames in length, provide answers to the questions put in the 1967 version of the film, be filmed in Cuba and use no sets. The second version must be filmed in "a miserable place", must not show this place, have Leth himself playing 'the man' and must reproduce the meal sequence from the original 1967 film. The third version presents Leth with a choice: either return to Bombay to remake the previous version (with which Trier was displeased) otherwise Leth must exercise 'complete freedom' in the making of a new version. Version four must be a cartoon and version five will be made by Trier (not Leth) but Leth must be credited as the director and the film must be accompanied a text written by Lars von Trier and read by Leth.

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