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Even Dwarfs Started Small

Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen

Directed by Werner Herzog
West Germany, 1970
Comedy, Drama, Horror
  • German
  • English, French
Werner Herzog: Ecstatic Fictions

Synopsis

In a police station a dwarf is seated on a chair. He is photographed and then interrogated about acts of violence he committed during a revolt. The story thus turns back in time, to when the dwarfs, detained in a correction facility, took advantage of the director’s absence to rebel.

Our take

“You might as well confess—we already know.” One of Herzog’s earliest films, released when he was just 27, this trippy nightmare shows how much his sensibility had formed: an obsessive skewering of megalomania; a unique eye for otherworldly locations; and a dollop of absurd, grotesque humor.

Even Dwarfs Started Small Directed by Werner Herzog

Critics reviews

[Herzog’s] second feature, Even Dwarfs is spectacular and confounding. It lacks the oppressive artiness of his nature documentaries (Fata Morgana) or the hilarious dourness of his inky-midnight-of-the-soul tragedies (Aguirre: The Wrath of God). Herzog is fascinated by our compulsion towards defiance and the utter futility of that urge.
July 22, 2014
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That the film is cast entirely with dwarves makes it a curiosity, but it also makes it impossible to assume anything else about the universe the film exists within; many reviews say that it’s set in a mental institution, but it seems just as likely to be a reform school or a utopian-society-gone-wrong, or another world altogether. Wanton destruction is possible and shocking anywhere, but wanton destruction combined with such strong images make EVEN DWARFS a film worth watching.
April 05, 2013
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