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BURDEN OF DREAMS

USA, 1982 (MIFF 1982)

Director: Les Blank

A fascinating and controversial look at the ill-starred production of Werner Herzog's five-years-in-the-making feature, Fitzcarraldo. Set in the jungle of Peru, Fitzcarraldois the story of a mad dreamer who will stop at nothing to realize his ideal.

Like his central character, Herzog takes on near-impossible challenges. He struggles to recreate with painstaking realism the central metaphor of the film — the hauling by hand of a huge steamship up a 40-degree grade chopped into the jungle riverbank. In addition, he tries to placate warring Indians and battles the river and the weather. As problem after problem confronts Herzog, Blank's camera documents his growing desperation and obsession. A fascinating portrait of a man, an environment and their monumental clash.

See also...

IN HEAVEN THERE IS NO BEER?

As versatile an ethno-musicologist as Mr Blank is, his approach to his material involves at least as much warmth as scholarship. The music, as depicted here, becomes a natural unfiltered reflection ... More »

Julie: Old Time Tales of Blue Ridge

The star of Julie is Julie Jarrell Lyons, who was born in 1903 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. In telling the stories of her life, Julie evokes in an inimitable way a world gone by ... More »

Marc and Ann

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Sprout Wings and Fly

There are no naked women in Les Blank's film, but the music is equally good. It is a touching tribute to Appalachian culture in the form of a profile of the legendary mountain fiddler, Tommy Jarrell ... More »

ZIVELI: MEDICINE FOR THE HEART

... ... Les Blank's long association with the Melbourne Film Festival ' continues with Ziveli, an anthropologtcal document on the culture and music of the Serbian-American communities of Chicago and ... More »

Puamana

Puaniana is a portrait of the elegant and vener­ated Irmgard Farden Aluli, one of Hawaii's best loved composers. The name Puamana is central to Inngard's life — it is the name of the family ... More »

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