If “every film is a documentary about its own shooting” as per the axiom decreed by the critic and filmmaker Jacques Rivette, then Fitzcarraldo could definitely serve be an exception. Fiction, documentary, essay, the film obliterates all the categories to which it could be assigned, leaving room only for a succession of visions, each as unreasonable as the last. The adventurer Fitzcarraldo aspires to nothing less than to build an opera house in the middle of the Peruvian forest and to invite the great Caruso to sing there. To achieve this, reality will be distorted for the benefit of utopia. Film is thus mobilised as the privileged witness of an attempt by a human being to revolt against his own condition. A powerful and overwhelming experience, while at the summit of the mountain on which Fitzcarraldo’s ship is suspended by its gravity, we hear Werner Herzog and his crew shout at us: Dream, dream, at the risk of going mad.
Country: Peru, Germany
(Werner Herzog Filmproduktion)