During the 1800s, paroled Brazilian bandit Cobra Verde is sent to West Africa with a few troops to man an old Portuguese fort and to convince the local African ruler to resume the slave trade with Brazil.
In the 1950s, an adolescent Werner Herzog was transfixed by a film performance of the young Klaus Kinski. Years later, they would share an apartment where, in an unabated, forty-eight-hour ... See full summary »
Two famous competitive climbers make a bet on who can climb Cerro Torre, one of the most dangerous mountains in Argentina and the world, first. As the day of the climb approaches, their increasing competitiveness becomes destructive.
The feared bandit Cobra Verde (Klaus Kinski) is hired by a plantation owner to supervise his slaves. After the owner suspects Cobra Verde of consorting with his young daughters, the owner wishes him gone. Rather than kill him,the owner sends Cobra Verde to Africa. The only white man in the area, Cobra Verde finds himself the victim of torture and humiliation. Later, he trains soldiers in a rebel army. Far from home, Cobra Verde is on the edge of madness.Written by
Ken Miller <email@example.com>
Werner Herzog's notoriously combative relationship with Klaus Kinski reached something of a pitch in their final collaboration. A famous picture taken onset shows Kinski attempting to throttle Herzog in front of a crowd of African extras. Herzog discusses the picture with photographer Beat Presser in the documentary Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski (1999): Herzog thinks that Kinski, aware of the camera, wanted to create a dramatic moment (Presser thinks Kinski was genuinely trying to kill him). See more »
When Cobra Verde (Kinski) arrives at Elmina for the first time with ten rifles as gifts, he opens up the roll of weapons and pulls out a Lee-Enfield .303 bolt action rifle, a piece that began service with the British only in 1895 - long after the events at Dahomey and Elmina actually occurred. See more »
In principle, I would feel tempted to give it only a six. Except that then there are "buts"... But there is Werner Herzog. But there is the sociopathically brilliant Klaus Kinski. But there is that unforgettable final scene. But there is the historic memory behind the story. But there are silent scenes of sheer contemplation. But there is the image of the fortress of Elmina (originally Ajudá, or Ouidah), that lingers long after you have seen the movie. But there is the amazing sensuality of all those female-warriors in beautiful war outfits. But there is that young girl singing near the end, the lavish, teasing, provocative, self-assured look on her face, the expression in her eyes, the crystalline/aggressive sound of her voice. And 'but' there is the music. If you have read Bruce Chatwin's novel, you will be able to add up some details to the story line. The horror of the Kingdom of Daomé, for instance, is far from what BC described himself - and actually far from what history books tell us. In fact, you could build endless stories inside this movie. That's what makes it so good: all the things missing. It could have been a better achievement, but for all it's worth, it's really not the kind of movie you're likely to forget after a few weeks!
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