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The Five Obstructions


Lars von Trier considers The Perfect Human (1967) to be one of his cult films. He challenges his director, Jørgen Leth, to shoot five remakes of this short film.

For each project, he will impose new "obstructions" on him, forcing him to rethink the story and the characters of his original film. Leth will have to deal with restrictions, orders and other prohibitions. The Five Obstructions is a game full of traps and vicious tricks. A fascinating and completely new film around a filmmaker who agrees to completely recreate one of his first works. An initiatory journey to the heart of the process of cinematographic creation.


Technical sheet

Directors : Lars Von Trier & Jørgen Leth

Starring : Alexandra Vandernoot, Patrick Bauchau, Jørgen Leth, Claus Nissen,

Maiken Algren, Daniel Hernandez Rodriguez, Jacqueline Arenal

Duration : 90 minutes

Year : 2003

A Zentropa production

In co-production with Wajnbrosse, DFI (Denmark), Panic Productions (France) and Almaz Films (Switzerland)

With the support of the French Community of Belgium and the National Lottery

The Five Obstructions | Trailer | BELDOCS 2022

The Five Obstructions | Trailer | BELDOCS 2022

Play Video

“This mixture of play and pain, this violence of the director's hold on the film are characteristic of Lars von Trier's cinema, and, as we can see, of the man himself. His strength is such that, without ever turning a single shot directly, he imposes his mark on Jorgen Leth's adventures as surely as the lines drawn on the ground of the Dogville plateau determined the movements of the characters"  

Le Monde


The Figaroscope

“A resolutely playful experience that becomes an authentic lesson in cinema"

Romain Le Vern


“... one of Lars Von Trier's most interesting films!"



Best Documentary - Durban International Film Festival 2004

Gold Dok of the Year - Gulddok, Copenhagen 2004

Grand Prize - Odense Inernational Film Festival 2004

FIPRESCI Jury Prize - Zagreb Motovun Film Festival 2004


*Oscars 2004 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

*Venice Film Festival 2003 (Venice, Italy)

*Sundance Film Festival 2004 (Sundance, United States)

*Jeonju International Film Festival 2005 (Jeonju, South Korea)

As well as 116 other festivals including Tokyo, Taipei, Mumbai, Jerusalem, Capte Town, Sidney, Hong Kong and Buenos Aires

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