Marking 10 years of doc mania

From November 1-11, the city’s cinemas are offering a window to the world by playing host to Scandinavia’s largest documentary festival. Originally founded in 2003, CPH:DOX is the non-fiction sister to CPH:PIX. Every year, it brings an increasingly exciting program of works by established names and fresh talents alike, and it features seminars, master classes, production labs and a screening market.


Documentary has come a long way in the last decade thanks to the success of films like Janus Metz’s Armadillo and James Marsh’s Man On Wire. If any art form has benefitted from the digital revolution, it is the documentary. Following the Second World War and the advent of television, the documentary film had slowly become a televisual preserve – but no longer. More and more documentaries are finding their way to the big screen and even bigger audiences. With theatrical releases and, thanks to the internet, more distribution methods than ever before, documentaries are enjoying a golden era.


While television remains the perfect home for many investigative and journalistic subjects, some films demand to be seen on something bigger, and CPH:DOX is a rare opportunity for doing just that.


CPH:DOX celebrates unique story-telling in all its diversity, bringing a slice of current and classic film-making, radio and televisual broadcasting, art exhibitions and musical collaborations from all over the world right to your doorstep. The festival concludes with an awards ceremony to celebrate the winning works and reward the filmmakers with cash contributions towards their next projects. Below is a small sampling of the over 200 films screening.


Grand Teatret, Empire Bio, Dagmar, Cinemateket (most cinemas are participating); starts Thu (Nov 1), ends Nov 11; tickets: 75kr, unless otherwise stated (with a range of group ticket prices available);


The Exorcist in the 21st Century
Following Josea Antonio Fortea, the Vatican’s premier exorcist, Norwegian director Frederik Horn Akselsen asks if demons really exist in our modern world and if there is really any place for such archaic beliefs. A beautiful, nuanced and well-balanced film.
Director: Fredrik Horn Akselsen; Norway 2012, 80 mins; Nov 2 at 22:30, Empire Bio; Nov 6 at 16:30, Falkoner Biografen


The Act Of Killing
Anwar Congo was once part of an Indonesian killing machine that ‘cleansed’ the country of more than one million ethnic Chinese communists. Today, the ever-arrogant mass murderer and others like him have been given a platform on which to explore their crimes. In this controversial film, they play themselves in reenactments of their crimes. The results are unexpected.

Director: Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anonymous; Norway/DK/Indonesia/UK 2012, 115 mins & 159 mins; Nov 3 at 13:30, Nov 7 at 9:00 and 19:00, Nov 8 at 21:30, Nov 9 at 10:00 – all at Grand Teatret


The Last Time I Saw Macao
Two filmmakers go on an adventure of discovery in the former Portuguese colony of Macao, multicultural and mysterious, where their childhood memories affect both their past and present. This meta-noir semi-documentary unfolds a strange story embedded in melancholy, danger, and temptation of the exotic.

Director: João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata; Portugal 2012, 82 mins; Nov 1 at 19:00, Cinemateket; Nov 5 at 19:00, Nov 11 at 21:30 – both at Grand Teatret


Side By Side
This film looks at the digital reality for films nowadays and asks some of cinema’s greatest living fiction filmmakers (David Lynch, Chris Nolan, Lars Von Trier, James Cameron, Danny Boyle, Martin Scorsese, and more) about the relative advantages and disadvantages for filmmakers working in the new medium. Are films better? Were we better off before?

Director: Chris Kenneally; USA 2012, 99 mins; Nov 1 at 21:30, Cinemateket; Nov 9 at 17:30, Empire Bio; Nov 11 at 14:20, Grand Teatret


My Love
This important film follows the trials and challenges of a gay fisherman living in a small fishing community who faces a crisis that leaves him with two options: ending his life or coming out as gay. When he meets a Thai man 20 years his junior, what follows is the struggle to bring the two families together under the bureaucratic weight of the Danish immigration system.

Director: Iben Haahr Andersen; DK 2012, 58 mins; Nov 3 at 21:30, Dagmar Teatret; Nov 6 at 21:45, Falkoner Biografen; Nov 11 at 17:30, Empire Bio

Moon Rider
A fascinating look into the mind of a young Danish cyclist, an athlete in peak physical condition but with a mind that is plagued by inner demons and an unhealthy preoccupation with death. He struggles to prevent the derailment of his dreams.

Director: Daniel Dencik; Denmark 2012, 81 mins; Nov 4 at 12:00, Pumpehuset; Nov 7 at 22:00, Cinemateket; Nov 9 at 14:20, Dagmar

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