The Five Obstructions: Perfect Human

Before watching the film, we were told by our professor that we will be watching a movie made from 2003. Part of me got excited for a bit since I expected that the film would be more relatable compared to the past movies that we’ve watched in class. Although,  the Five Obstructions by Lars von Trier turns out to be a documentary type of film, which honestly just made me lose interest as it began to play out. It felt dragging and some scenes were boring for me.

Essentially, the documentary film did not really catch my attention. That is why, it was difficult to me to follow what was happening in them movie. Although, it mainly focused on two filmmakers, Jorgen Leth and Lars von Trier who were trying to work and help each other in experimenting on art and cinema. I researched more about it, apparently it this film was already some sort of five-time remake of a film produced by Leth before. It was quite evident that the filmmakers had a mentor-mentee kind of relationship. Leth was initially challenged by von Trier to remake it but in each attempt Leth imposed a different variation to be done in the film. Each obstruction that was created by Trier were basically ways on testing his skills and creativity to make a better or at least a more recent version of The Perfect Human. I do not understand why they had to create five different versions of the same film, I personally think one big revision could have been enough. Although, I think that each change done helps Leth become a better director since he gained a lot of experience by doing the challenges. Furthermore, their relationship showcased camaraderie instead of competition. It seemed that von Trier was really trying to help Leth improve on his directing skills.

Among the five obstructions, what I found entertaining the most is the fourth one because it was animated remake of the entire film. It had a lot more details added into it and color, which helped me be engaged again with the documentary. Though, it was mentioned that both film directors were not a fond of cartoons, they accepted the idea that by doing this it was beneficial to Leth’s film since it offers a new way of portraying the visuals from his old movie. Apart from this,  I found the second obstruction strange since it shows a bitter reality about what is still happening around the world. The film depicted the great division between the poor and the rich. It was emphasized through the translucent screen in this particular obstruction wherein the poor remained in the background, which then could symbolize how they are usually disregarded by rich society. Most of the time, they are left to stay behind and watch the affluent spend their wealth as they continue to suffer. As for the man, this person resembles how the rich often have the good and comfortable life that they take for granted. Out of the five obstructions, these two were the only ones that left an impression to me.

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