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Huie’s Sermon

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

Director: Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog claims to have had a divine vision as a child, which may partially explain his fascination with mysticism and preachers. Huie's Sermon was shot in the US while Herzog was preparing to shoot Fitzcarraldo. embraced by many as a masterpiece that was the director's defining work. The Huie of the title was a Brooklyn minister with a gift (or a gimmick) for speaking at incredibly high speeds. His speech is not so much a form of communication as an emotional outburst. On the odd occasions that his chatter is slowed to a comprehensible pace, his audience can discern the targets he attacks in his oratory: government, homosexuality, abortion. artificial insemination and money.

The film is principally concerned with documenting Huie's bizarre services, complete with singing and clapping congregation. It is only at the conclusion that Herzog reveals the dilapidated neighbourhood and filthy deserted streets that house the church of this prophet of fire, brimstone and eternal damnation.

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