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Burden of Dreams (Criterion Collection) back to product details

Subtly surprising
12345678910
written by chadstep April 12, 2007 - 8:05 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
It bears watching to remind us what documentaries used to be like before their rise in popularity--grainy, linear, sequenced and not very visually stunning. It was like science films gone wild, though, as you watch a story with no ending or preconceived notion unfold. Thank goodness for Les Blank's ability to capture the monumental moments of stunning megalomania (?) which Herzog embodied, not to mention his unflappable approach to flights of fancy such as dragging the ship over the mountain (30% chance of success by one engineer's estimate, with many possible casualties), or working with native Amazonian tribes who are brought together to portray his "stylized" version of their ways (which almost resulted in a knife fight between two women fighting over a husband), as well as the culture clash between Europeans and natives which could have been worse. Surprisingly, no mention of his pointing a gun and directing Klaus Kisnski (actually, Kinski plays a lesser role in the documentary than in the latter film by Herzog, "My Best Fiend").

12345678910

(Average 7.97)
141 Votes
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