In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.
- Brother Gaspar de Carvajalas Brother Gaspar de Carvajal
Entirely a true story, set in the 1600s, following the annihilation of the Incas Empire, when the Spanish Conquistadors explored and roamed most of South America, a legendary expedition set out in Peru into the Amazon River to locate the mythical City Of Gold, El Dorado. Pizarro, the leader of the expedition comes to the point where he must turn and head back to civilization, following a long and tormenting journey that ultimately led them to nowhere. Fearing they'll get lost in the uncharted jungles of the Amazon, he sends a smaller group to complete the journey and commands them to return within a few days if no Gold is found. It is only a matter of time before this group faces unbearable difficulties down the Amazon River. Fearing the leader of their new group might turn back to prevent any more men being killed, Don Lope de Aguirre (Kinski) inspires a mutiny and manipulates the men in believing that with the riches they would find they wouldn't need to go home. They must battle with the native enemy they can't see and walk through the most difficult terrain on a most terrifying quest. What follows is a devastating character study of human nature and how one's obsession can destroy him and everything that really matters.
This film comes as a rarity in our world gone mad - a world controlled by greedy, obsessed and powerful dehumanized people. Klaus Kinski was one of the world's most profound and versatile actors. His rough, striking and villainous exterior gave him an almighty presence. He creates such a vividly obsessed and evil character in the film, you are easily convinced he is for real. I believe his abhorrence for Werner Herzog assisted him in his performance. Never during filming did they ever share ideas, always opposing and showing one's hatred for one another, which leaves people questioning their constant repairing. But Werner Herzog makes no mistake when casting Kinski in his films. Kinski drives the film, sometimes completely on his own. Werner Herzog's films are always extremely deep, philosophical and mythical. The cinematography is consistently breathtaking and never fails to transport you to the world Herzog intends to take you. And music perfectly paints the picture of human degradation, with its slow, subtle and haunting tone. It sticks in your head long after the conclusion and adds immensely to the the power of the film.
'Aguirre: The Wrath Of God', much like 'The Mosquito Coast', is one of the most poignant character studies in film history. It is in German with subtitles, but you are bound to forget they are there, as this epic film will take you to the vast and dehumanizing Amazon on an adventurous journey you will never forget. See this for the adventure if not for the underlining depth. It is a master work from a unique artist that is Werner Herzog and made a classic by the colossal Klaus Kinski. A beautiful and haunting experience that is not to be missed.
- Jun 13, 2005