Though there was a distinct possibility that the much-publicised and characteristically fraught production saga of Herzog's movie would overshadow the completed film itself, it turned out to be some kind of appropriately eccentric and monumental marvel. Operatic excess is both the subject and the keynote, as Kinski's visionary Irish adventurer obsessively hatches grandiose schemes to finance a dream of bringing Caruso and the strains of Verdi to an Amazon trading-post. Staked by loving Molly, a madam (Cardinale), he pilots the resurrected tub 'Molly-Aida' down an uncharted tributary in search of untapped rubber, wooing the fierce natives with gramophone arias before securing their inexplicable collaboration in the ludicrous task of hauling the ship manually over a hill towards a parallel waterway. Overcoming his own disparaged image as an inspired madman, Herzog charts an ironically circular course around an indulged, benevolent Aguirre; perversely illuminates colonialism with surrealism; and demonstrates once again in his always suspect yet somehow irresistible way that 'only dreamers move mountains'.
Cast and crew
Miguel Angel Fuentes