Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes
DVD - Image A Sound B+ Commentary A
BD - Image A- Sound B+ Commentaries A
starring Klaus Kinski, Helena Rojo, Del Negro, Ruy Guerra
written and directed by Werner Herzog
by Walter Chaw A work of holy madness about acts of holy madness, Aguirre, The Wrath of God is a transcendent, haunting film that defies description and captures, somehow, what it means to be human in all the venal, small, sometimes grand things that being human implies. Once seen, it's never forgotten, and upon repeat viewings, it's one of those pictures that makes you want to cry for no particular reason but that it is, in almost every non-quantifiable way, perfect, a film alight with invention, love, and passion--a memoir of the worm in the gut that demands blood and glory. Aguirre (Klaus Kinski) is an under-lieutenant in the bona fide Peruvian expedition of Gonzalo Pizarro (Alejandro Repullés) to find the lost city of gold, El Dorado, a fiction of the Peruvian Indians meant as a suicide pill for their conquistadors. Once the expedition bogs down in the mud of the rainy season, Pizarro sends nobleman Don Pedro de Ursua (Ruy Guerra) off with Aguirre on a satellite mission to scout a path ahead for the main body. Though neither party was ever heard from again, Aguirre, The Wrath of God proposes to tell the final days of Ursua's doomed men.