Social experiments, nudity and methods to the madness – don’t miss this year’s edition of CPH:Dox.
Bianca-Olivia Nita
Bianca is a freelance journalist and documentary critic. She is a regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: March 5, 2018

What is the focus of this year’s edition? Do you have a theme for the films selected in the festival this year?

This year’s main focus is on social experiments. The theme cuts through the entire programme, exemplified in competition by the premieres of Marcus Lindeen’s The Raft about how six women and five men drifted across the Atlantic on a raft for 101 days. It was meant to be an experiment exploring the origins of violence and the dynamics of social attraction, exemplified by the German film Last Year in Utopia, about a reality TV show that went off track. Parallel to the new films, we are presenting an exhibition at our festival centre, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, curated by Irene Campolmi. I’ve also programmed a special section called A Method to the Madness to investigate social experiments in theory and practice through cinema. And we’re staging a live, social experiment where nudity is mandatory!

Why these sections?

Historically, social experiments – from the Stanford Prison Experiment to reality TV – have claimed to present us with the naked truth about ourselves and the society. And they most often tend to go wrong. All this is very interesting as social experiments operate in a fine balance between control and chaos (or method and madness). They work like social laboratories in the shape of role games with a fixed frame and a set of rules that the participants obey to – or subvert. Ideally, a social experiment is a way to develop new and radical ways of living together.

If you would have to describe the festival in five keywords that would describe the festival and what it means to you, what would those keywords be?

In fact, I tend to think of film festivals as a sort of social and artistic laboratories. In five words: Contemporary, curious, creative, cutting edge – and a lot of hard work.

Mads Mikkelsen, Programmer CPH:DOX

What does the term ‘movie that matters’ mean to you?

If a film is any good, it matters. But impact and change is more than what it has come to mean in the documentary discourse of the day. If a film makes an impression on you, …

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