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Bells From The Deep

Germany, 1993 (MIFF 2001, Burden of Dreams – Werner Herzog)

Director: Werner Herzog

Near the border between Russia and Mongolia, the nomadic Yulas tribe attempts to reach an altered state of consciousness by making strange, deep, frog-like croaks. Elderly people living by Lake Kitesh believe an enchanted city of angels exists beneath the frozen surface. In the dead of winter they crawl on all fours out onto dangerously thin ice in sub-zero temperatures, hoping to catch a glimpse of the wondrous domain. A self-proclaimed 'Grand Sorcerer of Russia' attempts the mass exorcism of a dozen high-spirited, 'possessed' women on a high school gymnasium stage, but it could just be the vodka talking.

Lighter in tone that most of his work, Herzog's Bells From The Deep is aptly subtitled, Faith And Superstition In Russia With the disintegration of the former Soviet empire, political and social upheaval, the population was ripe for a return to archaic forms of worship and a resurgence of faith in outlandish customs and beliefs. A humorous work with more sober undertones.

See also...


Germany/Switzerland, 2006
With a sweeping grandeur and the elemental passion and curiosity we've come to associate with Werner Herzog, director Thomas Imbach's Lenz creates an unconventional portrait of a tortured visionary c… More »


Germany, France, UK, 2005
“Astronauts lost in space, the secret Roswell object re-examined, an alien who tells us all about his home planet - the Wild Blue Yonder - where the atmosphere is composed of liquid helium and the … More »


USA, 2006
“Packs a wrenching emotional punch.” - Variety Rescue Dawn is Werner Herzog's second homage to German born, US Air Force pilot Dieter Dengler who was shot down during the Vietnam War and forced … More »


UK/France/Ireland/USA, 2006
“I started dreaming about flying nuns falling out of airplanes and praying the whole way down and surviving. Then I started to fixate upon specific images and characters. One of them was the idea o… More »


USA, 2007
“Should render contrite all who say there is nothing left for movies to show us that we haven't seen before.” - Variety ... One thousand men and women live together in unbelievably close quarters… More »

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