Early Errol Morris documentary intersplices random chatter he captured on film of the genuinely eccentric residents of Vernon, Florida. A few examples? The preacher giving a sermon on the ... See full summary »
In the 1950s, a teenage Werner Herzog was transfixed by a film performance of the young Klaus Kinski. Years later, they would share an apartment where, in an unabated, 48 hour fit of rage, ... See full summary »
Documentary about Fred Leuchter, an engineer who became an expert on execution devices and was later hired by revisionist historian Ernst Zundel to "prove" that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz. Leuchter published a controversial report confirming Zundel's position, which ultimately ruined his own career. Most of the footage is of Leuchter, puttering around execution facilities or chipping away at the walls of Auschwitz, but Morris also interviews various historians, associates, and neighbors. Written by
This is a movie in which the protagonist appears to be little more than an eccentric and (at first) "humane" engineer of killing machines. By the end of the movie they are seen as much less - or much more. This is the story of a person who's aspiration for recognition get the better of them and the costs of those aspirations. Morris demonstrates better than in almost any of his other documentaries why he is a master of this form. Mr. Leuchter takes an abundance of rope with which to hang himself and insists he 'did the right thing'; though it seems amply obvious to almost anybody watching this fascinating movie that he had no business involving himself in the "project" in the first place. He had no idea that the stakes he was playing for were so large and his failure to accept his limited knowledge effectively ruins what was for him, a very lucrative hobby. Maybe a better name for this remarkable documentary would be *Hubris*, since Mr. Leuchter lacks it in spades...
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