7.5/10
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The White Diamond (2004)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 10 March 2005 (Germany)
About the daring adventure of exploring rain forest canopy with a novel flying device-the Jungle Airship. Airship engineer Dr. Graham Dorrington embarks on a trip to the giant Kaieteur ... See full summary »

Director:

Werner Herzog

Writers:

Werner Herzog (commentary), Rudolph Herzog (original screenplay) | 3 more credits »

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Werner Herzog ... Himself - Narrator
Graham Dorrington Graham Dorrington ... Himself (as Dr. Graham Dorrington)
Dieter Plage Dieter Plage ... Himself (archive footage) (as Götz Dieter Plage)
Adrian de Schryver Adrian de Schryver ... Himself (archive footage)
Annette Scheurich Annette Scheurich ... Herself
Marc Anthony Yhap Marc Anthony Yhap ... Himself
Michael Wilk Michael Wilk ... Himself (as Dr. Michael Wilk)
Anthony Melville Anthony Melville ... Himself
Jan-Peter Meewes Jan-Peter Meewes ... Himself
Jason Gibson Jason Gibson ... Himself
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Storyline

About the daring adventure of exploring rain forest canopy with a novel flying device-the Jungle Airship. Airship engineer Dr. Graham Dorrington embarks on a trip to the giant Kaieteur Falls in the heart of Guyana, hoping to fly his helium-filled invention above the tree-tops. But this logistic effort will not be without risk. Twelve years ago, a similar expedition into the unique habitat of the canopy ended in disaster when Dorrington's friend Dieter Plage fell to his death. With the expedition is Werner Herzog, setting out now with a new prototype of the airship into the Lost World of the pristine rain forest of this little explored area of the world, to record and tell this unique story. Written by Herzog, Rudolph

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Germany | Japan | UK

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

10 March 2005 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

A fehér gyémánt See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Marc Anthony Yhap: On this pleasant morning I'm about to fly, and surely I would like to take my rooster with me, but he's somewhere around. I would like to take him on this flight.
Werner Herzog: Why your rooster?
Marc Anthony Yhap: Oh, my rooster means so much to me. Early in the morning at 5:30 he crows and then he crows again when there is some change in weather patterns. He's such a lovely guy, my rooster. I would like to take him with me on this voyage. First flight, me in this lovely balloon, this creation.
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User Reviews

 
Herzog in Love
25 April 2008 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

Once again, the most adventurous documentary film maker of our time returns to his most beloved subjects and his most beloved setting. The White Diamond is about an obsessed man who wants to conquer a relatively unexplored frontier in the South American rain forest. Yet this is no sequel or remake of the amazing Herzog film Aguirre. Rather, in The White Diamond, Herzog returns to his beloved rain forest to tell the story of Dr. Graham Dorrington's struggle to build and fly an ultra-light helium airship as a way to explore the resources and ecology of the South American rain forest canopy.

Unlike many of Herzog's recent films, The White Diamond has an irrepressibly upbeat tone, as Herzog seems - as he can seemingly only do in South America - to celebrate the simultaneous absurdity and brilliance of the human spirit. Like Little Dieter, Fitzcarraldo, Rescue Dawn and Kaspar Hauser, The White Diamond is about remarkable people who do remarkable things. And like almost all of Herzog's portfolio, the photography and soundtrack are magnificent.

Herzog appears quite often in this film, and, as he has done frequently in recent times, gives us a bit more of a view of his interior world. Unlike Grizzly Man, however, this is not the dark, constrained hostility of the great director's view of life, but rather the hopeful Herzog who is interested in what makes people tick. And, unlike many of his films, he seems to like what he sees this time.

The White Diamond occasionally tangentializes away from the main story to talk to us about things that inspire the local inhabitants of the rain forest where the story takes place. A mysterious cave is explored, but the mystery is preserved in deference to the wishes of a local tribe. The poet philosopher of Dorrington's team is a local Rastafarian herbalist who finds tranquility and joy in everything, but whose rooster is his major inspiration. And then there are Herzog and Dorrington themselves, who are a whole different story. Some of Dorrington's incessant commentary can be a little annoying, but I believe Herzog left it in the film to give us a clear sense of the man himself - for which I can not fault the director.

Literally and spiritually uplifting, The White Diamond is a truly lovely film which uses setting and story to create a lasting impression. Like most of Herzog's films, it bears intense, wide-awake, and repeated scrutiny, and is worth thinking about afterward.


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