Cobra Verde would prove to be the final collaboration between Herzog and Kinski, who died in 1991, as their legendary personality conflict finally proved insurmountable.
Set in the late nineteenth century, it features Kinski as Francisco Manoel de Silva, ‘Cobra Verde’, a Brazilian rancher forced to take work with a gold mining company when drought ruins his land. Unhappy at being exploited by his new employers, he murders his boss and adopts the life of the outlaw. As revenge for the Cobra impregnating all three of his daughters, a wealthy sugar baron sends the outlaw to Africa to reopen the slave trade, a task that both men feel is certain to bring the Cobra to a quick and grisly end. Although he somehow succeeds, the path left open to the man is far from smooth in this flawed but fascinating film.