Herzog's film is based upon the true and mysterious story of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who suddenly appeared in Nuremberg in 1828, barely able to speak or walk, and bearing a strange note;... See full summary »
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.
After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.
Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the cofounder who was later squeezed out of the business.
A few decades after the destruction of the Inca empire, a Spanish expedition leaves the mountains of Peru and goes down the Amazon river in search of gold and wealth. Soon, they come across great difficulties and Don Aguirres, a ruthless man who cares only about riches, becomes their leader. But will his quest lead them to "the golden city", or to certain destruction? Written by
Chris Makrozahopoulos <email@example.com>
Most of the film, as well as several other features by Werner Herzog, was shot on a 35mm camera that he stole from his film school. He readily admits to the theft but also attempts to justify it with the significance of the films he's made with the camera. See more »
When the conquistador is snared into the tree, the wire that pulls him up can be seen as the actor walks into the frame. See more »
Don Fernando de Guzman:
All the land to our left and all the land to our right now belongs to us. I solemnly and formally take possession of all this land. Our country is already six times larger than Spain, and everyday we drift makes it bigger.
Don Lope de Aguirre:
Have you seen any solid ground that would support your weight?
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The caravan of the longing is moving downward, from the cloudy peaks of the Andes into the valley. They are longing for El Dorado, the land of gold. They want happiness in this life. One of them is longing for power, too, he wants to emulate Hernando Cortez, the man who subjugated the Azthecs in Mexico and created a new big empire, bigger than the mother country Spain. His name is Don Lope de Aguirre.
But there is a blatant contradiction between claims and reality, although at first, everything seems to go according to plan. Aguirre does succeed in taking command of the troops by accusing the old leader of treason and having him condemned to death. And the soldiers do follow him, apparently without any questioning, into the remotest swamps of the Amazon Basin, driven by the only thought of easily to be acquired wealth. But innumerable adversities accompany an expedition that is heading for disaster. Fatal arrows are whizzing across the river to the men's raft, thrown by some invisible Indians. Supplies are dwindling. And the ill-humor of the soldiers is increasing as they realize that they have left themselves in the hands of a madman. Nonetheless they do nothing to change their fate.
This gives rise to the thought of drawing a parallel to recent German history. Aguirre seems to have Hitler's features. He stays on his raft until the very end, even when everything around him has already died off and he is surrounded by nothing but the pitiful squealing of an armada of monkeys. The raft is turning around, hallucinations arise and are not to be chased away. Aguirre wants to sail on to Trinidad, in order to snatch the colony away from the Spaniards and found "the purest dynasty", together with his daughter. But her innocent body has already been pierced by the lethal arrows.
There is more than just historical allusion in this movie. It is the account of failure on a large scale, and such a failure is not limited to history. Each and every human being is basically a pursuer of happiness and is looking for his own land of gold, the realization of his dreams. And in the process he can easily become entangled in delusions and get into a situation of life in which he is just moving round in circles and cannot get out of the traps he has set himself. Even when he calls himself "the wrath of God", he still remains nothing but human, and is therefore a prisoner of his own limitations.
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