This is about von Trier challenging Jørgen Leth to recreate his short film The Perfect Human, albeit with obstructions he must adhere to, hence the five obstructions. Each film is different from each other, with the documentary filming the production and creative process behind Jørgen Leth’s interpretation of his film with the obstructions.
The whole idea behind it is telling of the capability of the director. There’s an added pressure that it’s his own body of work he’s recreating, and with each recreation he produces, one can see that there are different interpretations of his own work, and yet even when he thinks it’s going to be horrible or difficult to work with, it still produces some amazing results. The different obstructions Leth was given to work with added more poetic presence in his already poetic work. The message of his film is no longer one single unifying idea, but a cluster of interpretations doing justice to the unifying idea.
I may not be versed with their filmography and have read many criticisms against von Trier but if you were going to give him a chance, I suggest watching this documentary. This is very different from the von Trier the public is used to, but this is also telling of his personality, as well as Leth’s, even if to some extent, it is only a glimpse.
Final Word: This was pretty good. I read that Scorsese also has his own version of this, but as far as I know, it hadn't been released.
Cast: Claus Nissen, Majken Algren Nielsen, Daniel Hernandez Rodriguez
Director: Jørgen Leth (uncredited) , Lars von Trier (uncredited)