The Five Obstructions (2003)
"De fem benspænd" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Documentary  |  21 November 2003 (Denmark)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 6,251 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 37 user | 83 critic | 22 from

About a filmmaker not only revisiting, but also recreating (not in a conventional sense) one of his first films, The Perfect Human / Det perfekte menneske (1967)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Claus Nissen ...
The Perfect Man - from 'Det perfekte menneske' 1967 (archive footage)
Majken Algren Nielsen ...
The Perfect Woman, from 'Det perfekte menneske' 1967) (archive footage) (as Maiken Algren)
Daniel Hernandez Rodriguez ...
The Perfect Man (segment "Obstruction #1 - The Perfect Human: Cuba")
Jacqueline Arenal ...
The Perfect Woman (segment "Obstruction #1 - The Perfect Human: Cuba")
Vivian Rosa
Voice-over (from "Det perfekte menneske" 1967) / Himself - Director (segments "The Conversations") / Voice-over (segment "The Perfect Human: Cuba," segment "The Perfect Human: Bombay," segment "The Perfect Human: Cartoon") / Himself -The Perfect Man - Voice-over (segment "The Perfect Human: Avedøre, Denmark")
The Perfect Man / Voice-over (segment "The Perfect Human: Brunelles Brussels") / Speaker (segment "Obstruction #4 - The Perfect Human: Cartoon")
Alexandra Vandernoot ...
The Perfect Woman (segment "The Perfect Human: Brunelles Brussels")
Marie Dejaer ...
Maid (segment "The Perfect Human: Brunelles Brussels")
Pascal Perez ...
Couple (Man) (segment "The Perfect Human: Brunelles Brussels")
Meschell Perez ...
Couple (Woman) (segment "The Perfect Human: BrunellesBrussels")
Bent Christensen ...
Gangster (from "Det gode og det onde" 1975) (segment "The Perfect Human: Cartoon" (archive footage)
Naked Man (from "Notater om kærligheden" 1989) ( fsegment "The Perfect Human: Cartoon" (archive footage)
Charlotte Sieling ...
Naked Woman (from "Notater om kærligheden" 1989) ( segment "The Perfect Human: Cartoon" (archive footage)
Man with Jacket (from "Notater om kærligheden" 1989) ( segment "Obstruction #4 - The Perfect Human (archive footage)


"The Five Obstructions", a 100 min. theatre documentary directed by Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth. An investigative journey into the phenomenon of "documentary", based on manifestos written by each director. About a filmmaker not only revisiting, but also recreating (not in a conventional sense) one of his first films, The Perfect Human / Det perfekte menneske (1967), a document on life in Denmark, containing the familiar Leth idiosyncrasies Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

21 November 2003 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

As Cinco Obstruções  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$13,040 (USA) (28 May 2004)


$92,221 (USA) (2 July 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During one of the conversation segments in the documentary Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth agree that Leth will receive full credit for the fifth and final Obstruction entitled "The Perfect Human: Avedøre, Denmark" despite not directing it, and that Trier will receive none, although he will direct it. This, apparently, is within the rules of the game played out by the two directors during the documentary, and serves as an inside joke. See more »


References The Collector (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

Rent this one. However...
26 May 2005 | by (Atlanta, GA) – See all my reviews

...'The Five Obstructions' is not for everyone. This is for you if you love documentaries. This is for you if you respect the maverick minds of filmmakers playing with each other's head. This is for you if you can appreciate the intention behind this documentary. This is for you if you would like to see a veteran filmmaker being challenged to remake an earlier short film of his.

Also if you are so used to being spoon fed with a steady dose of ulcer generating colored candy, forget all about renting this gem.Here's hoping there wont be people who watch this, get disgruntled and then plaster all over the internet with not so kind reviews.

Instead, here's hoping these filmmakers come back with a sequel- if that beautiful being called Jorgen Leth agrees!.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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