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La Soufrière

Germany, 1976 (MIFF 2001, Burden of Dreams – Werner Herzog)

Director: Werner Herzog

When vulcanologists predicted that La Soufriere would erupt, Werner Herzog rushed to the small Caribbean island of Guadelope to capture the explosion The population had already been evacuated from the danger zone and the centre of Basse-Terre had become an eerie ghost town where only the steady rhythm of the traffic lights changing from red to green was evidence of the former inhabitants. La Soufriere had begun to belch poisonous sulphur fumes when Herzog made it to the base and discovered a group of stubborn farmers who, like himself, refused to leave in the face of almost certain death. The snakes that infested the jungle chose death by drowning, crawling into the sea. rather than waiting for a fiery fate. Ignoring warning signs from even the animal kingdom, one single-minded director was gambling that the volcano wouldn't blow.

See also...

How Much Wood Would A Woodchuck Chuck?

In one of his most well known documentaries Herzog contrasts the contestants in the 1976 Cattle Auctioning World Championships with the Amish community in which the event is held. The ironic ... More »

Huie’s Sermon

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 ... More »

Bells From The Deep

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God’s Angry Man

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 ... More »

Lessons of Darkness

First screened to rapt audiences at MIFF 1993, Lessons Of Darkness is Herzog's meditation on the apocalyptic aftermath of the Guff War. Tragedy and beauty are blended in aerial photography that ... More »

Gasherbrum: The Dark Glow of the Mountains

Before Reinhold Messner's name inspired a Ben Folds Five album title he was known principally as a fearless, and possibly reckless, mountaineer who had lost a brother and six toes in his endeavours ... More »

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