How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck
The auctioneers at the 13th International World Livestock Auctioneering Championship in 1976 speak so incredibly fast that the ordinary listener cannot make head or tail of it. With enormous fanaticism and wild gestures, they try to win the championship. The subtitle of this documentary is ‘Observations of a new language’. According to Herzog, the auctioneers speak the ‘new language’ of capitalism, which he finds both fascinating and terrifying. This is further stressed in that the championship is held in Amish Country, Pennsylvania. The extremely sober and religious life of the Amish contrasts sharply with the ostentation of the auction. The Amish do not even have a word for ‘championship’. Herzog’s sympathy clearly goes out to the Amish, who to his eyes are friendly people that live abstemiously and have respect for their natural environment, whereas capitalism has destroyed more than that it has improved.
Werner Herzog for Werner Herzog Filmproduktion
Thomas Mauch, Francisco Joan, Ed Lachman