ming movie reviews

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Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997)

France/UK/Germany 80m, Colour
Director: Werner Herzog; Cast: Dieter Dengler, Werner Herzog, Eugene Deatrick

little-dieter-needs-to-flyThe title refers to a German-born American navy pilot whose life’s ambition was to learn to fly after witnessing the Allied bombing his Bavarian hometown as a child. This fascinating documentary follows Herzog retracing the events of Dieter’s life as it pertained to his capture along the Laotian border during the early days of the Vietnam War when he was forced to crash-land his plane during a bombing mission. For much of the film, Dieter describes his horrendous physical and mental ordeals at the hands of his captors.  Filmed on location in Laos and Thailand, Dieter is marched through the jungle by locals hired by Herzog to play his captors in what must have been a surreal ordeal for all involved. Herzog’s fascination with this story would be revisited in 2007 with the making of Rescue Dawn in which he further explores the brutality of both man and nature (Klaus Ming August 2011).

5 comments on “Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997)

  1. Joachim Boaz
    08/03/2011

    I haven’t seen this one yet… I should! Nice review 🙂

    • Klaus
      08/04/2011

      A very interesting story for sure. I also just watched Herzog’s Rescue Dawn – the dramatization of Dieter’s story which is my next review.

      • Joachim Boaz
        08/04/2011

        What’s your favorite of his documentaries? Delving into his most esoteric — Have you seen Herzog’s “How much Wood would a Woodchuck chuck…” — the premise sounds great…

      • Joachim Boaz
        08/04/2011

        (perhaps I’ve already mentioned it…)

  2. Klaus
    08/04/2011

    Good question Joachim, from what i’ve watched to-date I’m partial to Fata Morgana for its images. For story, “Little Dieter”. And while i’m not sure if The Enigma Of Kaspar Hauser can be considered a documentary – it’s one of my favourite Herzog films which is apparently based on historical events.

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This entry was posted on 08/03/2011 by in 1990s, All, Unlisted and tagged .
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