Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972)

Believe it or not, before watching Aguirre: The Wrath of God, the only Werner Herzog movies I’d seen were documentaries. I knew I was missing out. 

Loosely based on historical events, this movie follows a group of Spanish conquistadores as they travel down the Amazon river in search of El Dorado. Aguirre, played by Klaus “crazy-eyes” Kinski does not agree with the man in charge when he suggests the group turn back. He leads a mutiny, convincing the rest of the group that “untold riches” await them when they reach El Dorado.

From here, everything falls apart. Food runs out, rafts are swept away in the rising river, and Aguirre gets crazier and crazier. This isn’t the most soul-crushing movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s up there. Not a bad orientation into the world of Herzog. I’m excited for more.


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