Things to do

As better spring weather stays in hiding – check out the great films of CPH:DOX

Now is your chance to flee the cold wind by going to the CINEMA. From 15 to 25 March, at CPH:DOX, one of the world’s biggest documentary film festivals, you can choose from a selection of more than 200 films from around the world. Not only in Copenhagen but also at cinemas around the country.

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By Bente D. Knudsen  Pictures: CPH Dox PR, Rozbeh Zavari

For its 15th edition, the festival will offer an ambitious programme of films, talks and debates, events and parties, audiovisual concerts, art installations and much more.

At the festival centre at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, you will be able to lean back in the new ‘Sum’ sofa by Normann Copenhagen designed especially to support your back during film screenings at their Social Cinema.

Charlottenborg will also host free VR screenings and interactive installations, as well as an art exhibition and unmissable parties!

This year’s highlights include a curated programme by the British trio The xx with a DJ-set by Romy Madley herself, a theme dedicated to social experiments, a greater focus on Science, sustainable development goals, justice and much more.

All foreign and Danish films will have English subtitles.

Find below a daily guide to the festival – composed especially for Your Danish Life’s readers with the help of CPH:DOX’s team.

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Find here our guide to films to see – selected with an expat audience in mind. All films are either in English or with English subtitles.

15 March – Thursday

17:30 A River Below  (Den Blå Blanet)

The protection of an endangered pink dolphin in the Amazon basin leads to an unexpected twist that raises an ethical dilemma for a Brazilian biologist – and for the local river community. After the screening, researchers and experts debate the subject of the film in front of the breathtaking Ocean tank. Bistro Tang serves free sustainable sea-themed snacks, the bar will be open and you are welcome to wander around the aquariums.

19:15 Blue Velvet Revisited (Cinemateket)

Behind the scenes at the greatest cult film of the 1980s with David Lynch in the director’s chair.

19:30, Jane (Empire)

A great film about the legendary primatologist Jane Goodall, who became world famous as the first person to study the life of chimpanzees.

19:30, Faces Places (Empire)

The 89-year-old filmmaker Agnès Varda on a road trip around France with the photographer JR in one of this year’s most beloved and imaginative films.

21:45, The Gospel According to Andre (Park Bio)

The world of fashion according to the legendary Vogue editor André Leon Talley.

16 March – Friday

 16:30 EuroTrump (Cinemateket)

Behind the scenes with the European answer to Donald Trump: the politician Geert Wilders during the year when he runs for prime minister.In collaboration with Democracy in Europe, there will be a debate following the screening on the 16th between the directors Stephen Morse & Nick Hampson. Focus will be on the developments in Europe that has led to Wilders political success in the predominantly tolerant Netherlands . Kasper Tonsberg Schlie from DEO will moderate the debate.

19:00 The Most Unknown (Charlottenborg)

A scientific exploration of the unknown, where the greatest mysteries of physics and nature can be found at the bottom of the ocean and in outer space. After the screening, we will host a conversation with scientists and filmmakers about science and narrative art.

21:00 Desolation Center (Cinemateket)

Jump on the school bus and join an acid trip to the Mojave Desert with a young Sonic Youth, Einstürzende Neubauten and the 1980s punk and industrial scene in L.A.  After the world premiere on March 16th, there will be a Q&A with the director and a dj-after party as part of Friday Late Night.

20:00 Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami (Empire)
Pull up to the bumper, baby! 10 years in the life of the ultimate diva – as singer, supermodel, style-icon and as the human being behind the superstar.

19:00 Minding the Gap (Grand Teater)

From skateboard video to documentary ‘Boyhood’. Three young friends grow up, become young men and make life choices in front of rolling cameras.

The film’s premiere is presented in collaboration with Soundvenue, and after the premiere there will be a q&a with the film’s director and the Film editor from Soundvenue.

21:45 Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait (Park Bio)

A private portrait of one of our times’ greatest artists seen through his work, his friends and himself.

21:30 Southern Belle (Nordisk Film Palads)

South-state blues in a dark and evocative film about a 26-year-old woman’s wild life in the shadow of her family’s decline.

21:30 Filmmworker (Cinemateket)

Stanley Kubrick’s personal assistant puts the cards on the table in a fascinating film about life in the shadow of the genius.

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17 March – Saturday

17:00 The Image You Missed (Gloria)
Unseen footage from the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland provide the imagery for a cinematic letter from a son to the father who shot it.

18:00 The xx opening movie  + 21:00 The xx Party (Charlottenborg)

We celebrate the London band’s film programme with a party at Charlottenborg. DJ sets by Romy, First Hate, and special guests. On 17 March, The xx will open their program at CPH:DOX, and during the following week, they will introduce films and live music from their guest programme for this year’s CPH:DOX.

To celebrate their programme, we are hosting an open party at our festival castle, Kunsthal Charlottenborg. Romy herself will dj and she’ll be joined by Danish First Hate, as well as other special guests. Before the party gets going, the band will screen the first film ‘God’s Own Country’ inside the Social Cinema at Charlottenborg.

21:30 Beautiful Things (Cinemateket)

Documentary science fiction from a future we already live in without knowing it. Meet the director after the screening!

19:00 Hanaa (Dagmar)

Four young women from their own corner of the world have more than their name in common. A film that insists on beauty against all odds.Meet the director at the screening.

21:30 A Mother Brings her son To Be Shot (Dagmar)

Violence and unrest continue to haunt the streets – and homes – of Northern Ireland. A shocking and incredible story of motherly determination. Meet the director Sinead O’Shea at the screening March 17 at Dagmar.

17:15 Wall, (Empire Bio)

A beautifully animated film about the wall that separates Israel and Palestine – written by the Oscar-nominated British author David Hare. Meet Sir David himself at the European premiere of the film, where together with the film director he will answer questions from the audience.

19:45 Fred, (Empire Bio)

An 85-year-old London gangster puts his cards on the table in a dark and psychological, but deeply engaging film between true crime and exquisite storytelling.

After the film’s premiere there will be a q&a with the film’s director and a representative from the Danish film magazine Ekko.

21:15 Wonders of the Sea 3D (Park Bio)

‘Wonders of the Sea’ is directed by the son of legendary French oceanologist Jacques Cousteau and narrated by none less than Arnold Schwarzenegger – in other words, the sky truly is the limit here. Or rather, the bottom of the ocean is. Join us for a passionate, mind-expanding world tour under the sea with Cousteau Junior and his team to look at the wonders of the sea in closeup.

15:00 The Green Lie (Charlottenborg)

Are we seduced by the good message of sustainability when we go shopping? A docu-comedy where nothing is what it seems.After the screening on March 17, the director and German journalist Kathrin Hartmann will discuss greenwashing, palm oil and Fairtrade with Thomas Roland, the COOP’s CSR CEO, and Jonas Giersing, the CEO of Fairtrade Denmark.

18 March – Sunday 

12:00 Ex Libris – The New York Public Library (Charlottenborg)

A declaration of love to one of the world’s largest libraries and its users, by one of modern documentary’s greatest names.

16:30 Ms Fang, (Cinemateket)

China’s greatest documentary filmmaker is back with an award-winning minimalist film about an elderly woman’s last weeks in the world of the still-living.

17:00 Extinction, (Cinemateket)

A sombre and hypnotic essay film from the fluent borders of the former Soviet Union, by Portuguese artist Salomé Lamas. Meet the director!

19:00 Picture of Light (Charlottenborg)

In search of northern lights in a beautiful and philosophical film from the end of the world, with music by Jim O’Rourke.

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19 March – Monday

17:30 Chef Flynn (Charlottenborg)

Master chef at the age of 12 and an international celebrity just a few years later. Watch it happen in a film that will make the stomachs roar in the cinema.

Meet the main character of the film, the star chef Flynn McCarry, in company with his mother and the film director at the screening the 18 and 19 of march. After the screening the 19 of march at Charlottenborg you can enjoy dinner at Restaurant Apollo, which belongs to Charlottenborg. The dinner will be cooked of Flynn himself and Restaurant Apollos own chef Frederik Bille-Brahe.

19:30 Weapon of Choice (Empire)

A dark study of American gun culture, which ends with an incredible true crime story of contract killers and billion dollar fraud. Meet the director Fritz Ofner at the screening March 19 at Empire.

21:00 of Fathers and Sons (Grand Teater)

Born as a warrior? Martyr dreams as a goodnight story in a both shocking and deeply human film about family life as an ISIS warrior in Syria. After the screening on March 19, the director will debate masculinity in the Middle East with DIIS researcher and Middle East expert Helle Malmvig.

The screening on the 19th of March is organised in cooperation with the The Danish Foreign Policy Society and moderated by their director Charlotte Flindt Pedersen.

21:15 Mountain (Cinemateket)

It’s cold at the top, but the view is fantastic! A spellbinding story about the sublime highlights of nature – wittily narrated by Willem Dafoe.

21:15 The Return (Park Bio)

A sensitive and stylish hybrid film about two young Danish-Koreans’ first encounter with the country they were born in. After the screening on the 19th of March, Karoline Sofie Lee from the movie is joining us for a Q&A session.

20March – Tuesday

16:45 The School in the Cloud (Bremen)

An Indian professor’s experiment in children’s access to (self)learning paves the way for a revolution of education as we know it.

Meet the director at the screening March 20 at Bremen Teater.

16:45 Alt-Right: Age of Rage (Cinemateket)

Behind the ultra-right-wing movement that with Trump as an unofficial frontman has conquered the world’s most powerful country. Following the screening on the 20 March, Ph.D. and tv and radio host, Adam Holm discusses the Alt-Right movement as a political and cultural phenomenon with director Adam Bhala Lough and senior researcher and head of the research project World of the Right at the Danish Institute for International Studies, Vibeke Schou Tjalve.

19:00 Exit (Bremen)

Nazis, Jihadis and violent Antifas. A former right wing extremist explores the price of breaking with an extremist past.

Following the screening on the 20th director Karen Winther discusses the struggle and personal price you pay when leaving leaving extremist groups. Joining her is former leftist extremist, Søren Lerche and former Islamic extremist David Vallat.

19:00 Last Year in Utopia (Charlottenborg)

Bertolt Brecht meets Big Brother in the reconstruction of the reality TV show that collapsed. Stylish, enigmatic and with German humour. Meet the directors Jana Magdalena Keuchel & Katharina Knust after the screening in the Social Cinema!

19:30 Inventing Tomorrow (Empire)

A group of visionary young scientists from all over the world with surprising solutions to acute problems fight their way to the world championship in science. Meet the director Laura Nix!

19:00 Becoming Animal (Grand)

A visionary field trip to Wyoming’s wild and vast nature becomes a philosophical reevaluation of our relationship with the world that surrounds us. Meet the directors Emma Davie & Peter Mettler!

19:30 In The Name of Your Daughter (Cinemateket) 

The right of girls and young women to decide what happens with their own body is defended by the modern heroine Rhobi in Tanzania. After the screening on March 20 you can meet the director and the film’s main character Rhobi Samwelly from Tanzania in conversation with Pernille Fenger, Head of the UN’s Population Fund’s Nordic Office in Copenhagen (UNFPA), who will also talk more about UNFPA’s work with FGM.

20:00 AlphaGo (Absalon)

Man vs. machine in the ultimate showdown: the South Korean world champion meets Google DeepMind for a game of the Asian board game Go. After the screening there will be Q&A and Go-Tutorial with the European master Fan Hui!

21:15 Silas (Charlottenborg)

Simple technology and inspiring idealism. Meet a modern, African activist fighting against corruption and illegal deforestation in a film that actually makes a difference.  After the screening on March 20, you can meet the main character Silas Siakor in conversation with DIIS-researcher and Liberia expert, Jairo Munive.

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21 March – Wednesday

19:00 Eating Animals (Aveny T)

The adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s critical bestseller narrated by Natalie Portman is a film for both meat-eaters and vegetarians. Meet the director and Jonathan Safran Foer at the screening the 21 of march at Aveny T, where he will attend the debate about the meat industry together with chef Nikolaj Kirk, prof. Andreas de Neergaard and the filmmaker Phie Ambo. This will be livestreamed to libraries all over Denmark.

16:40 Laila at The Bridge, (Grand Teater)

A fight against the Afghan heroin mafia with the most ‘badass’ woman in Kabul. A powerful film about a woman who is willpower in its purest form.

After the screening on March 21, you can meet the directors in conversation with the Danish entrepreneur, Michael Lodberg Olsen, and Flemming Konradsen, professor of international health at the University of Copenhagen and director of the Copenhagen School of Global Health.

16:45 América (Cinemateket)

A charming, Mexican adventure about three mismatched brothers and their 93-year-old grandmother in a film about family ties, which will evoke both laughter and tears. Meet the instructors at on the 21 March at Cinemateket or the 24 March at Empire Bio.

19:00 Kailash (Bremen)

One man’s fight to free the world of child slavery – one child at a time. An inspiring, emotional and adrenaline-infused story of hope.

19:00 Central Airport THF (Grand Teater)

Exquisitely observed film from a modern Babylon – a closed-down airport in Berlin, which today is home to migrants such as 18-year-old Ibrahim. Meet the director Karim Aïnouz at the screening.

19:00 Milford Graves Full Mantis (Vester Vov Vov)

Heart beats, poly-rhythms and vibrations from outer space. Welcome to the free jazz legend Milford Graves’s creative cosmos in South Jamaica, New York.

21:30 The Strange Sound of Happiness (Grand)

A quirky and poetic road trip to Siberia in search of the meaning of life and the Jew harp’s strange sound of happiness. After the screening on the 21st, there will be a Q&A with the director Diego Pascal Panarello.

21:15, Makala (Cinemateket)

A simple and sensuous Cannes winner, which follows a few days in the life of a Congolese farmer, and where the smallest detail contains its own greatness. After the screening on March 21, the Danish documentary director Camilla Nielsson will talk with french director Emmanuel Grass about the making of Makala.

22 March – Thursday

18:00 Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda + Japanese night (Aveny-T)

A beautiful and sensuous journey through disaster-hit landscapes with the Japanese composer, who defies both tsunamis and illness. At the screening on March 22nd we will have a special Sakamoto Night feat. Michael Bertelsen and August Rosenbaum. Sing Tehus will serve Japanese tea, LETZ SUSHI will serve sushi and Kita Sake serves sake – all for free.

18:15 False Confessions, (Bremen Teater)

Trained interrogators can make innocent people confess to almost anything in the United States. A Danish lawyer works for justice in a hair-raising and cynical system. Meet the director at the screenings on 17 and 22 March.

18:30 The Price of Everything (Charlottenborg)

The art market seen from the inside in an entertaining and insightful film about art, money and prestige – and about the price of letting oneself be seduced. Meet the director Nathaniel Khan.

19:00 Tarpaulins (Cinemateket)

Los Angeles’s smallest inhabitants are on the attack in a wonderfully inventive and imaginative film about termites. Meet the director Lisa Truttman at the screening 22 March and taste delicious insects from Dare to Eat and Syngja.

19:00 Bisbee’17 (Grand Teater)

A whole town confronts its own, dark past in a meta-Western and an epic roleplay, based on the most violent episode in the post-civil war history of the United States. Followed by a Q&A with the director Robert Greene.

19:15 Black Mother (Cinemateket)

Jamaica’s spiritual world of fantasy is conjured up in a hallucinatory mosaic, where the woman is the source of all things. Meet the New York-based artist and director of the film Khalik Allah after the screening!

19:30 The Ice King (Empire)

A perfectionist, rebel and icon. A portrait of the British ice skater John Curry, who transgressed all norms in his turbulent life.

21:00 Generation Wealth (Bremen)

This is how the one percent lives. For more than 25 years, celebrated photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield (‘The Queen of Versailles’) has documented the lifestyles of the USA rich and, not least, nouveau riche. Her latest film is a culmination of a life-long project. A fascinating study of surface worship and social psychology, where emptiness is lurking behind the sparkling and glamourous facade. The director will be at the screening for a Q&A following the film.

21:30 In Praise of Nothing (Charlottenborg)

Iggy Pop is the voice of Nothing in a film about everything. Confused? This is just the beginning of a massive cosmic comedy.

21:00 The xx + Lust for youth afterparty, (Aveny-T)

The synth-pop trio plays a special concert at the Aveny-T theatre stage, curated by The xx who calls the group their ‘top choice for Danish band!’ The xx says about the Danish band: “After seeing Lust for Youth play at the Moth Club in London about a year ago, we knew we wanted to include them in this programme. We had a really fun time and love the chance to see them again in their hometown of Copenhagen, and we’re really looking forward to hearing some of their new music”. After the concert there will be a small cosy dj-set at the next door-cafe Kellerdirk.

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23 March – Friday

17:00 Eating Animals (Empire)

The adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s critical bestseller narrated by Natalie Portman is a film for both meat-eaters and vegetarians. You can also meet the director at the screening on 23 March at Empire, where in collaboration with ‘Greenpeace’  a debate is organised with Jørgen Steen Nielsen from ‘Information’ and Kristian Sloth from ‘Greenpeace’. In relation to this event BRUS would like to invite you to a nice vegetarian dinner with 10% discount if you show your ticket to the film.

18:30 The End of Fear (Kunsthal Charlottenborg)

Who is afraid of red, yellow and blue? A philosophical and aesthetically accomplished film about art and vandalism, and the murder of a painting in 1986. Q&A with the director Barbara Visser.

20:00 Betty – They Say I’m Different (Cinemateket)
A beautiful, sizzling and sweaty film about the funk singer and feminist icon Betty Davis, who in the 1970s changed the music landscape for women forever. Q&A with the director Phil Cox!

21:00 Silvana Imam vs. SILVANA (Hotel Cecil)

A film and concert at Hotel Cecil with the Swedish-Syrian Silvana, who raps from the feminist front and has taken the North by storm

21:15 Matangi / Maya / M.I.A +  Iris Gold Concert & party (Bremen)

From Tamil refugee to activist pop star. One of this year’s best music films is told by the front woman of M.I.A. herself through decades’ worth of video footage. After the screening on 23 March, there will be a free concert with Iris Gold. ‘Janaelle Monae meets Erykah Badu’. Funky Friday night with the ‘M.I.A’ film, a free concert with the major talent Iris Gold and an after party with Natbar DJs.

21:30 Infinite Football (Cinemateket)

Football forever! Romanian deadpan humour in an understated and minimalist film about the beloved sport, by one of today’s most original filmmakers.

24 March – Saturday

14:00 Le fort des fous (Cinemateket)

Reality and dream meet in a postcolonial revolt in three acts by the Algerian filmmaker behind the CPH:DOX winner ‘Bloody Beans’. Meet the director Narimane Mari after the screening.

16:00 Latifa: A Fighting Heart (Bremen)

The inspiring story of a superhumanly strong woman’s tireless struggle against the forces that killed her son in a terrorist attack.

19:30 Dreaming Murakami (Bremen)

At work in the world of thoughts and dreams with Haruki Murakami’s Danish translator Mette Holm, where every word carries within it an entire world.

19:30 Caniba (Empire)

A Japanese cannibal in a boundary-transgressing new film by the visionary makers of the CPH:DOX winner ‘Leviathan’. Meet the directors Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel.

20:00 Time Trial vs. Dan Deacon (Hotel Cecil)

Put on the Yellow Jersey! A top-tuned bicycle film with a score by Dan Deacon followed by a psychedelic electro concert with the Baltimore musician himself.

21:30 Harmony (Cinemateket)

Beautifully photographed and dark film from a heavy industrial fringe of Russia, where youths struggle to live up to masculine and feminine ideals. After the screening on 24 March there will be an after-party in Cinemateket’s Asta Bar with a dj-set from Arthur Delaney from the band Hælos, who have composed some of the film’s tracks.

21:30 Final Party: ‘Studio 54’ + Hot Chip (dj-set) & Natbar (Bremen)

Felix from Hot Chip spins the turntables at this year’s Final Party, after the screening of a brand new film about the legendary nightclub Studio 54.

25 March – Sunday

14:30 13, a Ludodrama about Walter Benjamin (Charlottenborg) 

Seven years in the life of one of the 20th century’s greatest thinkers, while Europe slowly falls apart around him. An adventurous essay in the spirit of Benjamin.

15:00 Love Means Zero + tennis match (Charlottenborg)

Character-driven film making at its best. Meet the colourful and charismatic tennis legend Nick Bollettieri, as he faces a tough opponent. After the screening on the 25 March, a tennis match in the courtyard of Charlottenborg will be organised  in collaboration with B.93 Tennis Club, Kløvermarken Tennis Club and Danish Tennis Society. Challenge your friends if you dare.

17:15 The Work (Empire)

An adrenaline rush of a film about a radical experiment in Folsom State Prison – America’s most famous jail.

20:00 Shirley Collins: Film + concert (Charlottenborg)

This year’s closing event is a bit of a scoop! The legendary 82-year-old folk singer is visiting Denmark for the first time with a concert and a new portrait film.

How to get tickets

Tickets for CPH:DOX can be purchased at the cinemas, or online through the site. Online sale has started. Single screenings cost DKK 90 – or buy a discount card for 6 movies at DKK 450. You can also buy tickets for selected events at the festival centre in Kunsthal Charlottenborg and at Bremen Teater. The ticket desk will be open every day between 10:00-20:00 from 15 to 25 March.

The festival centre is located at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Nyhavn 2, 1051 Copenhagen K