Blank's special brand of ethnographic film documentary finds a curiously appropriate subject in that weirdest of all capsule cultures: the on-location film crew. Blank chronicles Herzog's notorious and near-disastrous filming of his epic Fitzcarraldo in the face of a temperamental cast (including at various stages Mick Jagger, Jason Robards and Kinski), Amazon locations, the local populace, and the fates in general. Blank's footage, which at times must have looked like being the only cinematic record that would come out of the jungle, clarifies many of the rumours about the shooting, and also takes on a crazy life of its own as the Amazon tributary becomes a blackly comic shit creek of (off camera) tribal skirmishes. But ultimately it's left to us to decide where Herzog could or should have drawn the line.
Burden of Dreams
Cast and crew