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Aguirre, Wrath of God

Director: Werner Herzog

WEST GERMANY| 1972. SUBTITLED. COLOUR. 95 MIN.


A defining film for Herzog in many ways, ‘Aguirre’ saw his first use of crazed actor Klaus Kinski, gruelling location filming in South America, and considerable success on the international festival circuit. Telling of the mutinous conquistador Lope de Aguirre (Kinski) in his quest for the legendary El Dorado, city of gold, in 15th-century Peru, Herzog turns history into myth as he dramatises his own working methods, with the arduous process of making the film (on location, in the middle of the jungle) mirroring the thrust of his plot about swashbucklers venturing into the untamed wild in search of greatness. Visually, the film is truly spectacular, from the unforgettable opening sequence of the conquistadors descending a steep mountain to the closing shot of a demented Aguirre alone on a raft swarming with monkeys.

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