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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 3,091 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 36 critic

This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames. In contrast to the common documentary film there are no comments and few interviews. What must have been the hell itself ... See full summary »

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Title: Lessons of Darkness (1992)

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This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames. In contrast to the common documentary film there are no comments and few interviews. What must have been the hell itself is presented to the viewer in such beautiful sights and beautiful music that one has to be fascinated by it. The German title translates 'lessons in darkness'. Written by Oliver Heidelbach

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Documentary | War

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26 October 2002 (Hong Kong)  »

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Lessons of Darkness  »

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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: Two figures are approaching an oil well. One of them holds a lighted torch. What are they up to? Are they going to rekindle the blaze? Is life without fire become unbearable for them?... Others, seized by madness, follow suit. Now they are content. Now there is something to extinguish again.
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Featured in Der letzte Dokumentarfilm (2000) See more »

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Must be seen to be believed
30 April 2002 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Herzog has been making brilliant films since the late '60s, and frankly it's a bit of a pain in the arse keeping up with such a prolific director.

However, if you are a fan of his features and staggering documentary work, "Lessons of/in Darkness" demands your immediate attention.

The film is essentially a birds-eye view (often quite literally) of the plague of oil-choked death, fire, chaos and destruction that resulted from the brief but grotesquely internecine technological blitzkrieg of the Gulf War. Herzog, of course, takes particular interest in the seeming madness of the crews of mercernary American firefighters that are putting out the oil well fires across the deserts.

Various points on the conflict and its aftermath inevitably bubble to the surface, but arise without overt proselytizing. The images do the majority of the talking.

And they are eye-popping. Startling, frightening visuals that stand out even in the Herzog canon -- great vistas of blackness and glowing terror that would make any sci-fi director soylent green with envy. They are accompanied by little else: brief interstitials, an almost nonexistent, terribly serious Herzog narrative and a ghostly and elegiac score.

The short interviews with individuals who suffered are heartbreaking, perhaps all the more so due to their brevity.

See this.


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