in about 100 words or less
US 95m, Colour
Director: Les Blank; Cast: Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards, Mick Jagger
Burden of Dreams is an engrossing documentary on the madness of the making of Werner Herzog’s 1982 film Fitzcarraldo, which involved the hauling of a steamship across a steep isthmus in the Peruvian rainforest. The documentary captures the terrific difficulties which Herzog faced in making his film, not the least of which were aboriginal land claims and the illness of Jason Robards (the original film’s star). Amongst the many stories about the production, the most fascinating elements of the film are Herzog’s observations on the production, the place and the people. Most notable, his now infamous views on the overwhelming misery and fornication of the jungle – which might provide some strange insight into the mind of this spectacularly obsessive and wonderfully talented German film maker (Klaus Ming February 2012).