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Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes

Directed by Werner Herzog
West Germany, 1972
Adventure, Drama, History
Werner Herzog: Ecstatic Fictions

Synopsis

The legend of El Dorado, a land rich in gold tempts Gonzalo Pizarro to lead an expedition beyond the Andes in 1560. Forced to halt, two men are sent downriver with a patrol. When their rafts are damaged, one decides to return on the camp, while Aguirre leads a mutiny and takes charge of the patrol.

Our take

More Werner Herzog! Our retrospective moves beyond Herzog’s documentaries to his Ecstatic Fictions. The most famous of his extreme visions, Aguirre is a haunting masterwork on human ambition, forged in harsh conditions and forever engraving the madness of star Klaus Kinski into the pantheon.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God Directed by Werner Herzog

Critics reviews

One of the true greats, this, an adventure saga about the ultimate futility of existence. Werner Herzog accompanies his not-so-merry band of travellers through the low-clouds and down the deadly winding trails of a mountain in the Amazon. They are indistinct specks on the landscape, consumed entirely by nature’s all-conquering awesomeness.
June 07, 2013
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An essential hallucination, subsequently mined by Coppola, Weir and Malick but unsurpassed in its vision of the withering yet liberating madness beneath our armor: When Aguirre climactically announces his mania in the body-strewn boat, the circling camera mourns, mocks, and exults.
September 24, 2010
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Aguirre remains for me the most convincing of Herzog’s films in terms of narrative. Though there is little dialogue, this saves Herzog from getting overly tangled up in the construction of a plot, something German directors are never good at. Instead, the narrative is more or less a steady stream of images which not only sets the pace of the film but the mood as well.
March 01, 2002
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