Filmmaker Werner Herzog

    • set 31 items

    Werner Herzog (Munich, Germany, 1942) is known for his mix of fiction and documentary. The director himself does not distinguish between his feature films and documentaries.

    The extent to which the two are intertwined for Herzog, is demonstrated by Rescue Dawn (2006), a feature fiction film on the life of pilot Dieter Dengler, who was the subject of his earlier documentary Little Dieter Wants to Fly (1997) (awarded with the Jury Prize at IDFA). Or by the mockumentary Incident at Loch Ness (2004) by Zak Penn, a film in a film in a film, in which Herzog plays (a parody of) himself, as a documentary filmmaker who investigates the phenomenon of the Loch Ness monster. He made his first short film, Herakles (1962) at the age of 19, and founded his own production company Werner Herzog Filmproduktion a year later. He has since made dozens of films, many of which were shown at IDFA. The filmmaker visited the festival for the first time in 2007. (Earlier, in 1999, Herzog compiled the Top 10, but he did not come to IDFA.) Of the various films about Herzog, IDFA screened Burden of Dreams (1982), a making-of of Herzog's feature film Fitzcarraldo.

    Watch online:

    Cave of Forgotten Dreams

    Masterclass Werner Herzog (IDFA 2007)​​

    Items in this selection

    Herakles

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1962

    In his debut film, Herzog is already looking for the connection between heroism and madness as he comments on a racing accident at Le Mans by showing images of German bodybuilders.

    Behinderte Zukunft

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1969

    Examination of social circumstances and living conditions of mentally disabled children in Germany.

    Maßnahmen gegen Fanatiker

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1969

    Short humorous film about men who work at a horse track, protecting the tense horses against pushing 'fanatics' from the public gallery.

    Die fliegenden Ärzte von Ostafrika

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1969

    Report of the activities of the 'Flying Doctors' in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

    Fata Morgana

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1970

    African desert landscapes play the leading role in this poetical “science fiction elegy.”

    Land des Schweigens und der Dunkelheit

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1971

    Portrait of a deaf-and-blind woman who helps people who share her handicaps to avoid becoming isolated.

    Die große Ekstase des Bildschnitzers Steiner

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1974

    With each jump, ski jumper hovers between life and death.

    La soufrière

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1976

    Herzog hopes to film a volcanic eruption on evacuated Caribbean island Guadeloupe.

    How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1976

    Account of a championship for livestock auctioneers who speak super-fast.

    Glaube und Währung

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1980

    Portrait of an American TV preacher and his dubious practices.

    Huie's Predigt

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1980

    The emotional sermons by the rapidly speaking preacher Huie in shabby Brooklyn.

    Gasherbrum - der Leuchtende Berg

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1984

    Portrait of obsessive mountaineer, who still calls his sport a pointless activity.

    Ballade vom Kleinen Soldaten

    • Werner Herzog, Denis Reichle
    • 1984

    Interviews with ten to twelve-year-old Indian guerrillas in Nicaragua.

    Wodaabe - Die Hirten der Sonne

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1989

    The men and women of the Wodaabe, a nomadic people in the Sahara, court each other in a spectacular way.

    Echos aus einem Düsteren Reich

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1990

    Portrait of the African dictator Bokassa and his reign of terror.

    Lessons of Darkness

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1992

    The oil fires in Kuwait after the Gulf War are shown as an apocalyptic landscape of murky skies and capricious flames.

    Glocken aus der Tiefe

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1993

    Collage of images and texts referring to the meaning of spirituality and religion in post-communist Russia.

    Die Verwandlung der Welt in Musik - Bayreuth

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1994

    Behind the scenes of the Richard Wagner opera festival in Bayreuth.

    Tod für fünf Stimmen

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1995

    Reconstruction of the tragic life of composer Carlo Gesualdo (1560-1613), who killed his son, his wife and her lover.

    Little Dieter Needs to Fly

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1997

    The life story of German pilot Dieter Dengler, who was shot down and captured by the Vietcong while fighting for the Americans in Vietnam.

    Julianes Sturz in den Dschungel

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1998

    In 1971, Herzog missed a plane that would later crash in the Peruvian jungle.

    Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski

    • Werner Herzog
    • 1999

    Werner Herzog about his love-hate relationship with the maniacal actor Klaus Kinski.

    The White Diamond

    • Werner Herzog
    • 2004

    Film about the daring adventure of exploring the rainforest canopy with a novel flying device.

    The Wild Blue Yonder

    • Werner Herzog
    • 2005

    A science-fiction fantasy by Werner Herzog, compiled from documentary footage, featuring Brad Dourif (Billy Bibbit in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) as a frustrated extraterrestrial guide.

    Grizzly Man

    • Werner Herzog
    • 2005

    Master filmmaker Werner Herzog obtained this video diary of a man who spent 13 summers protecting grizzlies in a nature reserve before dying a tragic death. The man performed his tasks obsessively and without being asked.

    Rescue Dawn

    • Werner Herzog
    • 2006

    Air Force pilot Dieter Dengler finds himself in a prison camp during the Vietnam War. His remarkable personality saves both his own life and those of his fellow prisoners.

    Encounters at the End of the World

    • Werner Herzog
    • 2007

    Herzog interviews the inhabitants of the South Pole, scientists and staff, about their dreams, meanwhile showing the splendour of the continent.

    Cave of Forgotten Dreams

    • Werner Herzog
    • 2010

    Werner Herzog was the very first filmmaker to be allowed to film the oldest human paintings in the Chauvet Cave in the south of France, in 3D!

    Into the Abyss

    • Werner Herzog
    • 2011

    Werner Herzog's compassionate search for the human being behind the criminal: in this case, a young man on death row in Texas.

    Death Row II

    • Werner Herzog
    • 2012

    Werner Herzog speaks to four death row inmates in candid interviews about their crimes and life behind bars.

    Burden of Dreams

    • Les Blank
    • 1982

    A disconcerting account of the insane circumstances surrounding the filming of Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo.