Little Dieter Needs to Fly (Werner Herzog – 1997) B+

Amazing how Herzog, especially in documentaries, manages to make films about obsessed or what he calls haunted people. Dieter here tells the most fascinating and grizzly story about his capture in Laos after his plane was shot down. He tells is in rapid speech as if it is bubbling to get out and he is itching to be done with it. At the same time he has that tone of voice as if he is definitely not sorry he went through the several months ordeal in the jungle where he was tortured, sickened, was rediced to a hallucinating skeletal figure and almost died. There is also something to be said about Herzog’s decision to ‘re-enact’ what happened to Dieter. He does not use fancy camera work or actors, instead Dieter himself does all the work of reliving his story. Expensive re-shooting with actors might’ve looked better, but this way it is more effective and real.


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