21 August 2022
Directed by Werner Herzog
21 August 2022 | Part of More Than Human
African desert landscapes take centre stage in this surreal, poetic documentary.
African desert landscapes take centre stage in this surreal, poetic documentary. In the long travelling shots of desolate expanses of sand, human presence is betrayed only by an abandoned airplane, car wrecks, collapsed buildings and dead livestock. The first chapter, “Creation,” combines scenes from this timeless landscape with the voice of German historian and film essayist Lotte Eisner recounting the creation myth of the Guatemalan K’iche’ people. It’s a tale of trial and error, of the miserable failures before the arrival of the final piece of the puzzle: humanity. In the following sections – “Paradise” and “The Golden Age” – Werner Herzog presents compelling scenes featuring various compatriots, including a zoologist captivated by lizards, a teacher instructing her African pupils on the use of the sentence Blitzkrieg ist Wahnsinn (Blitzkrieg is madness) and a gaggle of giggling tourists. Herzog describes his film as a sci-fi elegy about the insanity of colonialism. He soon dropped the intended storyline in favour of an exclusive focus on the imagery. As Hertzog’s camera, mounted atop a VW camper, explores the desert as if it were some pristine, alien planet, it’s not difficult to see it as a sort of new land.
Cinema Akil is an independent cinema platform that brings quality films from across the world to the audiences in the UAE. Showcasing directors and filmmakers across the decades, Cinema Akil aims to create awareness and interest in film and the cinematic arts. Launched in 2014 as a nomadic cinema, Cinema Akil has held over 60 pop-up cinemas attracting over 65,000 attendees in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. In September 2018, Cinema Akil opened its first permanent location in Al Quoz, Dubai making it the GCC’s first arthouse cinema. Cinema Akil’s flagship home is brought to you in partnership with Alserkal. . Follow us into the dark.
This film is brought to you in partnership with Cinema Akil and Goethe-Institut.