Shortly after the Gulf War, oil fires were raging all through Kuwait. In the week before this sea of fire would be extinguished, Werner Herzog filmed this apocalyptic landscape with its murky skies, scorched earth and capricious flames.
One of Werner Herzog’s most daring, unforgettable documentaries. Few words. Few interviews. Just sound and vision, emerging from the Gulf War’s wreckage with a look at hell-on-earth too unreal to exist—but it did. One of his best.
WOW, 11/10! This film presents the ability for humans to destroy themselves really well, a poetic take on the incredibly devastating reality of decolonization/foreign policy/intervention/curse of natural resources for those with little political power. Rare occasion where decontextualization is well-played, so as to maintain focus on the apocalyptic inevitability of interstate conflict.
I imagine this is what hell looks like.
Some day the earth will exact her revenge for the way we've treated her. The only saving grace when that happens is that Herzog will be here (in body or spirit) to film it.
hellish desolation beautifully captured from above. the bleak landscapes were both horrifying and beautiful. the soundtrack is big and enigmatic, and leaves a giant impression. fitting for the apocalypse.
One of those strange terrifying and haunting films that you always think of. I think the Herzogian elements of taking things a little too far only add to the strange atmosphere of this film. Incredible and one of my favourites of Herzog.
By showing the aftereffects of war without any context, the viewer struggles to justify the wanton devastation. The film is therefore effective because of its absences as much as what fills the screen—that's true cinematic talent. I will say the slow motion pirouettes and long-focus shots of spouting fire began to wear on me after the 30 minute mark.