April 28th 2023: The Irish Film Institute (IFI) is delighted to announce a new Werner Herzog season, now streaming online on IFI@Home. Ten films, and a season pass, are now available from

A new online season, The Trials and Tribulations of Werner Herzog, is now available to stream on IFI@Home. A filmmaker with an immense body of work, this selection of ten films focuses on films made in the 1970s and 1980s. Through a close collaboration with actor Klaus Kinski, these earlier, experimental films make for an outstanding collection.

Speaking about curating this retrospective for the IFI@Home platform, IFI Cinema Programmer Kevin Coyne said, “Having constructed a popular public persona – droll, erudite, cheerfully nihilistic – that has somewhat eclipsed his work, this season serves to showcase the quixotic, occasionally surreal, and frequently beautiful films that first brought Werner Herzog to prominence, films that caught the imagination of a generation.”

Fata Morgana (1971), shot in the Saharan desert, is an abstract work that explores one of Herzog’s key themes of man versus nature, accompanied only by a spoken creation myth and the songs of Leonard Cohen. Moving the focus from place and space to the subjective experience of it, Fini Straubinger is at the centre of Land of Silence and Darkness (1971), a documentary which offers a compassionate and insightful view into the life of its blind and deaf protagonist.

Klaus Kinski stars in his first collaboration with Herzog in the tale of a Spanish conquistador whose search for El Dorado leads to danger and madness in Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972). Made two years after this historical epic, and set in Nuremberg, Germany in the early 19th century, is The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)which follows an isolated individual who is taken in by a kindly Professor to detrimental effect.

In Heart of Glass (1976), a village’s livelihood is on the brink of destitution as they can no longer produce the ruby glass that once sustained them financially. Based partly on a story by Herbert Achternbusch, exquisite nature shots feature glimpses of Craogh Patrick and the Skelligs.

The pitfalls of the American dream are explored in winner of the German Film Critics Association Awards ’78, Stroszek (1977), a tragicomedy about an unlikely trio comprising of a street performer, a sex worker and an eccentric neighbour who take their chances and try to improve their fortune in America.

In Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979), Herzog takes on Bram Stoker’s classic tale of Dracula, with an unforgettably eerie Count played by Klaus Kinski, who pursues Lucy (Isabelle Adjani). Woyzeck (1979) sees another spine-chilling performance from Kinski, who plays a solider undertaking medical experiments to support his poverty-stricken family, until they lead to a state of frenzy and jealousy resulting in disastrous consequences.

Fitzcarraldo (1982), which earned Herzog the Cannes award for Best Director in ’82, sees Kinski play a cultured Irishman who sets out to achieve the almost-impossible task of building an Opera House in the Amazon Basin, while the actions of a dissatisfied Brazilian Rancher are explored in the revenge-filled feature Cobra Verde (1987).

Fata Morgana (1971)
Land of Silence and Darkness (1971)
Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972)
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)
Heart of Glass (1976)
Stroszeck (1977)
Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
Woyzeck (1979)
Fitzcarraldo (1982) – streaming from May 5th
Cobra Verde (1987)

Full season now streaming on:
Each film costs €4.99 to rent. Season pass available: all 10 films for €34.99.

IFI is principally funded by the Arts Council.

The IFI is supported
by The Arts Council

Arts Council of Ireland