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Aguirre, the Wrath of God
Directed by Werner Herzog • 1972 • West Germany, Mexico, Peru
Starring Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Roho
The first of Werner Herzog’s legendary—and notoriously tempestuous—collaborations with actor Klaus Kinski is a feverish account of sixteenth-century Spanish conquistador Lope de Aguirre’s obsessive quest through the South American rainforest to discover the fabled city of gold, El Dorado, a crazed delusion that leads him and his band of explorers into the heart of darkness. Kinski’s unhinged performance, the mystical score by Popol Vuh, and the lush, hallucinatory jungle images come together in one of the most haunting, deliriously inspired visions in all of 1970s cinema, a senses-shattering journey to the edge of madness.