Six Documentaries to See at CPH:DOX 2015

CPH:DOX is an annual international documentary film festival that takes place this year from 5-15 November. The largest of its kind in Scandinavia, the festival began in 2003 has has grown steadily ever since. Because of it’s worldwide appeal, a significant number of the over 200 films shown are in English, and almost all have English subtitles.

There are many critically-acclaimed films in the program this year, but here’s a list of six that come highly recommended to get you started:

List Marker: Number 1A Syrian Love Story

A love story of two Syrians who met in prison for protesting the al-Assad regime. The film interweaves Syria’s recent history with Armer and Raghda’s romance.

Show times:

  • Sat 7th Nov, 2:15 pm – Nordisk Film Palads
  • Mon 9th Nov, 9:30 pm – Grand Teatret
  • Fri 13th Nov, 7:00 pm – Skuespilhuset, lille scene
  • Sat 14th Nov, 7:00 pm – Nordisk Film Palads


List Marker: Number 2Darwin’s Nightmare

This 2004 film follows the disastrous release of the Nile perch in to Lake Victoria, Tanzania, in the 1960s. The environmental catastrophe is set against the economic and social realities of the small town of Mwanza, where Nile perch becomes their largest export. The women of the town sell sex to the Russian pilots who fly the fish overseas, who in turn bring AK-47s. The building tension and chaos is the stuff of real nightmares.

Show time:

  • Fri 6th Nov, 4:30 pm – Cinemateket


List Marker: Number 3Deprogrammed

Ted Patrick was a “deprogrammer,” someone who breaks the psychological hold of a cult, throughout the 1970s. He himself was in a satanic cult and now isolates himself in a cabin in the woods. The film connects his story with the ongoing question of cults, whether it’s possible to carry out “reverse” mind control, and if it’s a good idea to try.

Show times:

  • Sat 7th Nov, 9:15 pm – Vester Vov Vov
  • Mon 9th Nov, 4:30 pm – Nordisk Film Palads
  • Fri 13th Nov, 5:00 pm – Empire Bio


List Marker: Number 4Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock ‘n Roll

This is a must-see. In the 1950s and ’60s, Cambodia had a blossoming music – and particularly rock ‘n roll – scene. This ended abruptly in the mid-70s, when Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge came to power. The music, and the musicians who managed to survive, kept playing, albeit underground. This is a meticulously researched documentary that brings to the surface “the best music you’ve never heard.”

Show times:

  • Fri 6th Nov, 9:15 pm – Cinemateket
  • Thu 12th Nov, 7:00 pm – Nordisk Film Palads


List Marker: Number 5The Wolfpack

A winner at 2015 Sundance Film Festival, this story is too weird to be fiction. Six brothers are kept imprisoned in a small apartment with only films as their window to the outside world – they not only watch them, they act them out. One finally escapes and by chance meets director Crytal Moselle; the rest is cinematic gold, both funny and moving.

Show times:

  • Tue 10th Nov, 7:00 pm – Bremen Teater
  • Wed 11th Nov, 9:45 pm – Dagmar Teatret
  • Fri 13th Nov, 6:00 pm – Bremen Teater


List Marker: Number 6Uncertain

The town of Uncertain, lost in the border between Texas and Louisiana in the United States, has a population of 94 people. The film follows a number of engaging characters as the town’s only source of income – the Caddo Lake – is found to be too polluted for use

Show times:

  • Sat 7th Nov, 9:30 pm – Nordisk Film Palads
  • Mon 9th Nov, 2:30 pm – Bremen Teater
  • Thu 12th Nov, 8:00 pm – Empire Bio

…and a sneaky #7 (because this program is just too good):


A satire of the post-colonial world in the Philippines and worldwide, this sly 1981 film is a fascinating look at cultural exchange and the effects of post-colonial globalisation.

Show times:

  • Fri 6th Nov, 6:30 pm – Cinemateket
  • Thu 12th Nov, 10:45 pm – Cinemateket

See more on CPH:DOX.

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Rebecca Thandi Norman

Rebecca Thandi Norman is a co-founder and Editor-in-Chief at Scandinavia Standard.