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Lessons of Darkness (1992)
"Lektionen in Finsternis" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary, War  |  26 October 2002 (Hong Kong)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 3,153 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 36 critic

This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames, with few interviews and no explanatory narration. Hell itself is presented in such beautiful sights and music that one has to be fascinated by it.

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Title: Lessons of Darkness (1992)

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Director: Werner Herzog
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Storyline

This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames, with few interviews and no explanatory narration. Hell itself is presented in such beautiful sights and music that one has to be fascinated by it.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

26 October 2002 (Hong Kong)  »

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Lessons of Darkness  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Werner Herzog cheerfully admitted that the quote at the end of the film, allegedly by Pascal, was completely made up and falsely attributed to give it more weight. See more »

Goofs

In an aerial shot, the shadow of the camera's helicopter is visible (about 10 minutes, 8 seconds into the film). See more »

Quotes

Narrator: This was once a forest before it was covered with oil. Everything that looks like water is in actuality oil. Ponds and lakes are spread out all over the land. The oil is treacherous because it reflects the sky. The oil is trying to disguise itself as water.
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Connections

Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #7.3 (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A land of some other order
6 February 2009 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

Some eastern sea that lay heavily in the dawn, attended in its farthest far horizon by titanic walls of smoke and crowned by spires of fire and hot gouts of burning oil arching in the air. This deceptive sea reflecting the sky above made of crude oil. Werner Herzog mounts his camera on a helicopter and takes us through the desolate landscape of Kuwait's oil fields yet there's no politics involved, no topical Gulf War content. These oil fires the result of the scorched earth policy of Iraqi military forces retreating from Kuwait in 1991 after conquering the country but being driven out by Coalition military forces. In a truly apocalyptic manner, Herzog simply invites us to "come and see" the works of man. Reciting short passages from the book of the Apocalypse as sweeping aerial shot after sweeping aerial shot expose a land ravaged by war, the earth tarred far as the eye can see, a vast steppe of black tending to the rim of the world, the skies charred by enormous fires and billows of smoke. This is really a documentary on the apocalypse, on some end to the world, the Gulf War a paradigm of all wars to end it with. A truly awe-inspiring spectacle of destruction and abandonment that mirrors man's insubstantiality when measured up against nature in his own power to destroy it. Not a documentary in the traditional sense but mostly a plot less 60 minute expedition in the deep recesses of a wartorn desert that lets the grandeur of its visuals see it through with Kubrickian aplomb. In the end the workers reignite some of the oil wells they previously extinguished. Herzog muses in his voice-over: "Now they are content. Now they have something to extinguish again".


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