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Fata Morgana

1h 17m Drama 1971

Despite its abstract nature and lack of structure, Fata Morgana may be considered one of the director’s key works, certainly from this stage of his career. The troubled production saw Herzog and his crew decamp to the Sahara, shooting sporadically over the following 13 months without a clear objective in mind, having almost immediately abandoned the science-fiction screenplay written by the director. In the editing room, it was decided to divide the film into three acts: the first, ‘The Creation’, features long tracking shots of the serene desert, accompanied by voiceover of Lotte Reiniger recounting a Mayan creation myth; the second, ‘Paradise’, shows human activities encroaching on and spoiling the pristine landscape with industrial detritus; and the final act, ‘The Golden Age’, which finally adds the presence of humans, showing them in opposition to nature, a theme to which Herzog would frequently return.


Werner Herzog




West Germany

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