6.9/10
2,929
22 user 35 critic

Fata Morgana (1971)

Footage shot in and around the Sahara Desert, accompanied only by a spoken creation myth and the songs of Leonard Cohen.

Director:

Werner Herzog

Writer:

Werner Herzog (original screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Through examining Fini Straubinger, an old woman who has been deaf and blind since adolescence, and her work on behalf of other deaf and blind people, this film shows how the deaf and blind... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Fini Straubinger, M. Baaske, Elsa Fehrer
Documentary | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A study of the psychology of a champion ski-jumper, whose full-time occupation is carpentry.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Walter Steiner, Werner Herzog
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Herzog examines the world championships for cattle auctioneers, his fascination with a language created by an economic system, and compares it to the lifestyle of the Amish, who live nearby.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Steve Liptay, Scott McKain, Ralph Wade
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The inhabitants of an institution in a remote country rebel against their keepers. Their acts of rebellion are by turns humorous, boring and alarming. An allegory on the problematic nature ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Helmut Döring, Paul Glauer, Gisela Hertwig
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The foreman of a small village glassworks dies without revealing the secret to the famous "Ruby Glass".

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Josef Bierbichler, Stefan Güttler, Clemens Scheitz
Behinderte Zukunft (TV Movie 1971)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Illuminating look at the way physically disabled people were dealt with in West Germany in the late 60's / early 70's.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Rolf Illig, Adolf Ratzka, Werner Herzog
Letzte Worte (1968)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The story of a solitary man who refuses to leave a Greek island (at one time a leper colony) is told by a strange variety of characters who don't have much to say except to repeat their ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Lefteris Daskalakis, Antonis Papadakis
Lebenszeichen (1968)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A wounded German paratrooper named Stroszek is sent to the quiet island of Kos with his wife Nora, a Greek nurse, and two other soldiers recovering from minor wounds. Billeted in a decaying... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Peter Brogle, Wolfgang Reichmann, Athina Zacharopoulou
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The film features several horse trainers and other track workers talking about their roles at the track, always eventually interrupted by an older man who claims to be the true authority, ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Petar Radenkovic, Mario Adorf, Hans Tiedemann
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Four guys break into an old castle and find uniforms and military equipment. They then prepare to defend it from an imaginary enemy.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Peter Brumm, Georg Eska, Karl-Heinz Steffel
Woyzeck (1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Franz Woyzeck is a hapless, hopeless soldier, alone and powerless in society, assaulted from all sides by forces he can not control.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Eva Mattes, Wolfgang Reichmann
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The documentary follows Gene Scott, famous televangelist involved with constant fights against FCC, who tried to shut down his TV show during the 1970's and 1980's, and even argues with his... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Gene Scott, Werner Herzog
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Lotte Eisner Lotte Eisner ... Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eugen Des Montagnes Eugen Des Montagnes
James William Gledhill James William Gledhill
Wolfgang von Ungern-Sternberg Wolfgang von Ungern-Sternberg
Edit

Storyline

Footage shot in and around the Sahara Desert, accompanied only by a spoken creation myth and the songs of Leonard Cohen.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

1 February 1972 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Фата Моргана See more »

Filming Locations:

Sahara Desert, Africa See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.] See more »


Soundtracks

Sea of Joy
Written and Performed by Blind Faith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The world from a non-human point of view
14 January 2000 | by D KieckhSee all my reviews

Successful films on metaphysical subjects are rare, but Fata Morgana is a good case. You can chalk up the large subject to the ambitions of youth, but Herzog does an amazingly good job. The movie's point is to show human beings, and even the world, from a non-human point of view.

The movie is in three parts: Creation, Paradise, and The Golden Age. The imagery of each is in counterpoint to the voice-over. Although the text of `The Creation' (from the Popol Vuh, a Mayan myth) refers to the primordial wasteland, the scene goes no further in illustrating the myth. It dwells on the waste, and on various specimens of destruction (fire, smoke, wrecked vehicles). The images from `Paradise' are anything but that, and `The Golden Age' is darkly comic – the highest culture is the strange roadside musical act.

The Popol Vuh suggests that mankind is the central object of creation, but the movie does everything it can to undo this notion. Its mythological framework has no referent in human historical time. There are no human characters to speak of. When a boy stands with a dog in an extended shot, the initial suggestion is of the boy's point of view; by the end it is much more the dog's. Likewise the lizard is a stronger character than the human who introduces it, and the turtle's partner barely looks human with his big flippers.

Animal stories and nature documentaries always anthropomorphize, but Fata Morgana has none of that. Certainly the dunes look like a female body, but the simile cuts both ways. Presumably only humans can distinguish easily between their creation and nature, and here airplanes and factories are presented alongside mountains, lakes, and waterfalls. People and civilization are all part of a broader natural landscape.

In 1979 Herzog put a new twist on the idea when he remade Nosferatu from the vampire's point of view.


28 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed