Show error The Five Obstructions | Best Movies by Farr
Best Movies by Farr

The Five Obstructions

The Five Obstructions Poster
The Five Obstructions Poster

Released

2003

Runtime

90

The Five Obstructions

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What's it About

In this ingenious documentary, Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier (“Dogville”) challenges his old muse and mentor Jorgen Leth to a novel highbrow game: Leth must remake his 1967 short film, “The Perfect Human,” no less than five times, according to increasingly stringent rules or obstructions imposed by the devilish Von Trier. Zipping from India to Haiti to Austin, Texas, Leth strives to stay one step ahead of his young tormentor.

Why we love it

You couldn't ask for a better match-up than Von Trier, a world-class filmmaker with an infamous sadistic streak, and the depressive Leth, truly a melancholy Dane and a talented artist in his own right. As we follow Leth's efforts to revisit an old film in different formats under various hardships — one obstruction is to film in a place that terrifies him, another to create an animated version of his artsy short — we learn the man's mindset and prodigious store of artistic resources, via his wry voiceover. In the end, however, Von Trier unintentionally reveals as much about himself as his cunning subject, a great twist on a wicked psychological game.