by Alex Elder
"Half the fun of these films are in the joy of encountering the unexpected"
With CPH:DOX festival now sadly over for the year, here’s our second and final installment of highlights from the enthralling and highly diverse slate of documentaries on offer.
A Man with a Camera (2021) dir. Guido Hendrikx
One of the bizarrest titles on the DOX slate, A Man with a Camera is an hour-long documentary shot, predominantly, on the doorsteps of ordinary individuals from the Dutch hinterlands. Guido Hendrikx’ subjects open their front doors and suddenly find themselves face-to-face with a mysterious, silent camera operator filming them. There were only two rules for Hendrikx when shooting this otherwise free-form film: the filmmaker was never allowed to communicate (verbally or nonverbally) with his subjects and once the front door was opened, the person being filmed must direct the encounter - deciding what happens during the filming and when it should come to an end.
A Man with a Camera‘s modest portrayal of humanity frequently shifts gears from apprehension as stand-offish neighbours threaten the camera man and demand answers t