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Joergen Leth


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Jørgen Leth (born June 14, 1937 in Århus) is a Danish writer and filmmaker.

His first book was published in 1962 and he has written ten volumes of poetry and four non-fiction books. Leth made his first film in 1963, and has since made forty films, many distributed worldwide. His most acclaimed work is the 1967 short film The Perfect Human, which was recently featured in the 2003 film The Five Obstructions by Lars von Trier.

He is divorced, and has a daughter and three sons.

Leth speaks Danish, French and English.

Leth studied literature and anthropology in Aarhus and Copenhagen, and he was a cultural critic (jazz, theater, film) for leading Danish newspapers from 1959 to 1968. He travelled in Africa (1961), South America and India (1966) and Southeast Asia (1970-71).

He was a creative consultant for the Danish Film Institute (1971-73, 1975-77) as well as chairman of the board of the Danish Film Institute (1977-82). He has been a professor at the National Film School in Copenhagen, at the State Studiocenter in Oslo and he has lectured at UCLA, Berkeley, Harvard and other American universities.

Leth commentated on the Tour de France annually on Danish TV 2 from 1988 through 2005, as the expert commentator in a partnership with journalist Jørn Mader. Leth was let go on October 7, 2005 due to controversy over his autobiography Det uperfekte menneske (“The Imperfect Human”). For much of the year he lives in Jacmel in Haiti. In 1999, Leth was appointed Denmark’s honorary consul to Haiti, a post which he renounced on October 7, 2005 following the controversy over his autobiography.

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