DVD Lessons of Darkness/Fata Morgana (DVD 61056),
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Lessons of Darkness/Fata Morgana

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 2 discs
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • A collection of two documentaries by Werner Herzog, FATA MORGANA (1971) and LESSONS OF DARKNESS (1992), this program illustrates Herzog's sustained vision, one where nature and man are continually at war with one another. Made more than 20 years apart, these two films are remarkably similar. FATA MORGANA, shot in the Sahara desert, is a mostly silent film, accompanied only by the reading of the Popul Vuh, a Mayan creation myth, and the songs of Leonard Cohen. Poetic, beautiful, and often humorous, Herzog's images twist and turn in the mind, forcing the viewer to step outside themselves and look at the world as a combination and clash between the natural and the man made. LESSONS OF DARKNESS is ostensibly a documentation of Kuwait in the aftermath of the Gulf War, when oil fires were burning up the land and transforming the formerly beautiful countryside into a surreal new landscape. Mostly silent and accompanied by classical music, in a few segments local Kuwaitis bemoan the destructiveness of the fires and the war. Herzog, however, shoots the changed landscape in a way that makes it at once terrifying and beautiful.
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): DV11542

  • Critic Reviews
    "[FATA MORGANA is] an extended, fictionalized myth of origins embodying the Herzogian axiom of creation through despoliation."
    Film Comment

    "[LESSONS is] a pseudo sci-fi parable of mind-boggling -- and shockingly gorgeous -- environmental devastation..."
    Film Comment

    "[FATA MORGANA is a] film that's perhaps best described as poetic science fiction: the depiction of a vast landscape dotted with rusting plane wrecks, animal skeletons and shimmering mirages is otherworldly."
    Sight and Sound

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