6.8/10
3,180
23 user 38 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)
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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
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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 »
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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Connections

Referenced in Gummo (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Potato
Written by Booker T. Jones
Performed by John Renbourn
See more »

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User Reviews

 
In Paradise, man is born dead.
11 January 2019 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

World-renowned filmmaker Werner Herzog has always been an interesting figure who has made a great many interesting and compelling films, whether they be fictional or documentaries. "Fata Morgana" falls into the latter category, and as such it's not telling a story - at least, not in a traditional way - so much as it's relating experiences through a melding of image and music.

Shot in the Sahara desert, it's supposedly about the phenomenon of "Fata Morgana", or mirages, but what the viewer gets is something even more ambitious. It's divided into three parts: Creation, Paradise, and The Golden Age, with Creation accompanied by recitations from the Mayan creation myth. Now, if the prospective viewer is still reading this, they're in for an unconventional experience. It's one in which Herzog has stated that his film is meant to function as collaboration between the filmmaker and his audience, and people can interpret it how they see fit.

It begins intriguingly enough, albeit in a manner that might be off putting to those with shorter attention spans: shot after shot of various planes touching down in the desert, edging forward into the shimmering heat waves of the locale.

Even some Herzog admirers will grant you that this is one of his stranger efforts, but it's so far removed from typical Hollywood product that it merits a viewing just on that basis. Along the way, we see all kinds of vehicle wreckage, a sad assortment of animal carcasses, and one of the oddest musical acts that one will ever see. Certainly the combination of image and music does make for a striking kind of entertainment.

Seven out of 10.


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