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God’s Angry Man

Germany (MIFF 2001, Burden of Dreams – Werner Herzog)

Director: Werner Herzog

A vivid account of Werner Herzog's meeting with Californian late-night television evangelist Dr Gene Scott. Scott fleeced fundamentalists to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars each year with his broadcasts. Extracts from these surreal preaching sessions alternate with interviews highlighting the strange, greed motivated alliance that was forged between media and religion in the 70s.

Herzog saw Scott as a symptom of the degeneration of the US. pinpointing the ironic lust for worldly possessions that derailed a 'heavenly' cause. Since this 1980 documentary Scott has become a cult figure. On air for more than 25 years, cursing and berating his audience in a rasping baritone, Scott makes no secret of his gambling, his addiction to painkillers, his disappointment in himself, his girlfriend Christine and his flock. He scarfs junk food on-air, beaming live from his kitchen, while Christine runs a phone sex business in the background, resigned to her pitiful life and loveless relationship.

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