A journey where the viewer can see Werner Herzog's creative and personal vision which was share with iconic travel writer Bruce Chatwin, the prolific author of 'In Patagonia' and a champion of the nomadic life.
When Bruce Chatwin was dying of AIDS, his friend Werner Herzog made a final visit. As a parting gift, Chatwin gave him his rucksack. Thirty years later, Herzog sets out on his own journey, inspired by Chatwin's passion for the nomadic life.
Comprises of eight chapters: The Skin of the Brontosaurus, Landscapes of the Soul, Songs and Songlines, The Nomadic Alternative, Journey to the End of the World, Chatwin's Rucksack, Cobra Verde, and The Book Is Closed. See more »
When the film goes to Coober Pedy (Australia), Herzog shows a film prop which he describes as the "remains of a Hollywood intergalactic space craft" and a "wreck from 'Star Wars'". It is actually from the film Pitch Black, abandoned there around twenty years earlier. See more »
Nomadic or Cultural Colonialist: Chatwin's Life Anecdotess
Herzog's personal documentary exploring his friendship with Bruce Chatwin. Chatwin who passed in the early 90sfrom AIDS complication was known for his travelogs. Notably his heavily-published and translated travels to South America, Australia and Africa, Chatwin had been admirer of Herzog's films and had seen these films as cinema in it's "purest form".
This particular documentary focused on Chatwin's life divided into chapters. It looks into what inspired his interests into what is "nomadic" or the idea of "walking". The film is shot within the landscape where Chatwin found that inspiration.
Nowadays, within some intellectual circles, it seemed rather critical when scholars or intellectuals (especially white European males) go into places where it is people of color. For some, it echoes colonialism, or seen as "neo-colonialist".
In some ways, this film's intentions become questionable: is it still glorifying white male travels to exotic places? Or is just a humble tribute to Chatwin's travelogs.
In one of its chapters Herzog stumbled upon the idea with Chatwin's interests with Australian Aboriginal people's idea of landscape. Herzog's interviews with Aboriginals who safe-guard research material on Aboriginal thought, looking one of Chatwin's books on travels with Aboriginal shamans.
This film with it's rather questionable intentions, it still very interesting with its location shots in Latin America and Africa. But it can also be seen as a time capsule on what the last of the last internationally-known white male interest with the "exotic" or "otherness" (a world that had no internet or social media and now social distancing).
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