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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.

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