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Fitzcarraldo

Directed by Werner Herzog
West Germany, Peru, 1982
Drama, Action
Werner Herzog: Ecstatic Fictions

Synopsis

Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald (Klaus Kinski), better known as Fitzcarraldo, wants to build the world’s largest opera house in the middle of the Amazon jungle. But to fund it, the entrepreneur will have to venture deep into the wilderness and the unknown…

Our take

How else could we end our epic Herzog series except here, on Klaus Kinski’s ultimate ecstasy? One of cinema’s most insane undertakings—the crew literally had to drag a steamboat up a mountain—Herzog’s crowning masterwork is a sweeping ode to mankind’s quest to leave a footprint on an infinite world.

Fitzcarraldo Directed by Werner Herzog

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1982 | Winner: Best Director

San Sebastián International Film Festival

1982 | Winner: OCIC Award

BAFTA Awards

1983 | Nominee: Best Foreign Language Film

Critics reviews

Fitzcarraldo carries a Buñuelian vulgarity in its satirical bent as well as in the controversy the film courted from the film makers… Herzog’s “ecstatic truth” is manifold; watching Kinski’s mystical gaze into the distance throughout the film has us almost believe he is a deity. As the film progresses we can never quite be sure how or if he has the natives under his spell, in actuality it was Herzog who was casting spells over everyone.
March 19, 2016
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The obstacles for both Fitzcarraldo the film and Fitzcarraldo the character would prove more logistical than financial. As has long been documented, Herzog’s intended opus, like the task of his unintended surrogate, was at once hampered and heightened by its leader’s vision and that vision’s allegiance to cinematic verisimilitude.
March 20, 2015
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