Towards the end of the Second World War, Stroszek, a German soldier, is wounded when partisans on the island of Crete launch an attack. After he has spent quite a while in a military hospital, he is detailed to the peaceful island of Kos in the Dodekanes, where compassionate superiors give him a quiet post so that he can sit out the war undisturbed. Together with his Greek wife and two other soldiers who have been discharged from military hospital, he has to guard a disused munitions dump in an old Venetian castle near the port of the island’s main town.
Only a small German occupying force is stationed in the town itself. The castle garrison have procured themselves some chickens and are living a life of ease. Soon, however, the paralysing monotony and isolation begin to leave their mark. Stroszek is increasingly distressed by the unaccustomed surroundings; his wife is completely unable to help him. One day when he is out on patrol, he suddenly goes mad, chases after his comrades at the castle, starts firing at the town and, in the end, attempts to destroy it with self-made firework rockets.
His battle ends in humiliation – for he merely succeeds in setting fire to a chair. For nearly two days he holds his entrenched position against friend and foe alike, by threatening to blow up the munition every time anyone approaches the castle. During the second night, Stroszek is finally overpowered by his own people. —Berlinale
One of the most influential filmmakers in New German Cinema and one of the most extreme personalities in film, Werner Herzog quickly gained recognition not only for creating some of the most fantastic narratives in the Film history, but for pushing himself and his crew to absurd and unprecedented lengths, again and again, in order to achieve the effects he demanded. Born Werner Stipetic in Munich on September 5, 1942, Herzog came of age in Sachrang, Bavaria, amid extreme poverty and destitution. After Herzog turned seventeen, a German film producer optioned one of his screenplays, then promptly destroyed the contract when he discovered the author’s age. Circa 1962, 20-year-old Herzog enrolled in the University of Munich as a history and literature student, and produced his first motion picture, the twelve minute Herakles, his second short Game in the Sand, and his third, the pacifist tract The Unprecedented Defense of Fortress Deutschkreuz.In 1963, he established his own production… read more
First Werner Herzog movie. Astounding how obsessions of the German genius are already present here: a hero suffering from hallucinations and becoming mad (Aguirre, Woyzeck) , the theme of the circle, infinite and hallucinatory (The end of Aguirre and virtually every Herzog films), a repetitive musical score encouraging ecstasy among the chosen ones. An essential movie if you want to enter Werner's fantastic world.