Defocus Manifesto (Denmark, 2000)
Abstract

In part the catalyst for Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth’s De fem benspænd (The Five Obstructions, Denmark, 2003), this manifesto focuses on what is pushed to the wayside, marginalized, and has been made invisible in documentary filmmaking because of the news media’s and documentary film’s need to find an overarching “angle” or “story” to tell, leading to documentaries that are overdetermined by the incessant drive for linear, totalizing narrative explanations of events. What Trier posits here, perhaps unwittingly, is, in Michel Foucault’s sense of the term, a genealogical form of documentary cinema.