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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...

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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 »

Sprout Wings and Fly

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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 »

Yum, Yum, Yum!: A Taste of Cajun & Creole Cooking of Louisiana

Les Blank marries his obsession with spicy, down home food and his fascination for the Cajuns and Creoles of Southern Louisiana, to create this mouth watering exploration into the cooking and culture ... More »

Sworn to the Drum: A Tribute to Francisco Aguabella

... ... At the start of his brand-new documentary on master Afro-Cuban drummer and composer Francisco Aguabeila, Les Blank throws us right into the heat and passion of a 1985 Aguabeila gig at Cesar's ... More »

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