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Germany 1972
Directed by
Werner Herzog
90 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Aguirre, Wrath Of God

Aguirre, Wrath Of God is one of Herzog's three films with South American settings (Fitzcarraldo, 1982 and Cobra Verde, 1987 being the others with each being a stand-alone). It is a fact-based story based on the diary of Brother Gaspar de Carvajal who accompanied the real-life Aguirre in his search for the mythical El Dorado in the mid-16th century.

The film was shot on a small budget and whilst being strongly constrained by its limited resources it is quite an achievement in the annals of independent film-making, being about staying afloat in more ways than one. Some regard it as a masterpiece that puts Apocalypse Now (1979) to shame, however typical of this group of three films, the focus is on the physical rigours of the events and there is little dramatic texture. Proceedings are largely sustained by Klaus Kinski, glaring dementedly about him as the actor/protagonist makes his descent into his own heart of darkness, taking a handful of unfortunates with him.




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