DVD The White Diamond (DVD 51758),
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The White Diamond

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Werner Herzog has a taste for absurd personal missions, especially those involving a human struggle against nature. From characters like Aguirre--the Spaniard who searches for a hidden city of gold in Peru, to Fitzcarraldo--who wants to build an opera house in the Amazon rain forest, Herzog is friend to all doomed endeavors and mad poets of disaster. In WHITE DIAMOND, Dr. Graham Dorrington is the visionary scientist at the heart of an excursion into the jungles of Guyana. An aeronautics expert, Dorrington has designed an airship for exploring the rain forest canopy. But his motivations are not entirely scientific: a friend's death during a similar experiment years before still haunts him, driving him to atone for the violence of what he calls a "stupid, meaningless accident." Herzog's camera bears witness to Dorrington as he rhapsodizes about the beauty of the silent flight above the forest, and the childlike enthusiasm with which he approaches his craft. Dorrington's curious, inventive mind, shaped by Western science and imbued with the sensibilities of an artist--a combination on which Herzog embellishes--is contrasted with that of Mark Anthony, a Rastafarian native who watches the proceedings with a bemused smile. His poetic presence provides another take on humanity's place in nature, endowed as he is with a mystical transcendence unseen in the Western world. The imprint of Herzog's subjectivity is what makes the documentary work, and here the choice of subject matter lends itself perfectly to the director's favorite themes. The otherworldly creatures which he magnificently photographs in the treetops become a symphony of the terrible beauty of nature, while his characters narrate the heroic and winsome attempts of humanity to reconcile itself with nature's uncontrollable power.
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): FLV5469

  • Critic Reviews
    "WHITE DIAMOND seems motivated by a reverent, sober curiosity and a willingness to accept the irreducible mysteriousness of nature, in both its wild and its human incarnations."
    New York Times

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