This is the unbelievable true story of Dieter Dengler, who fulfilled his life dream of becoming a fighter pilot—a dream which was shattered only a few days into his first tour of duty in the Vietnam War, when he was shot down over Laos…
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Herzog's best doc? The argument can be made. What seems to fascinate him about this case isn't simply the crazy truth of Dieter's story, but the way the man—who's seen more pain than most of us can ever imagine—lets his memories flow back through him without letting them conquer him. With another documentarian, you might get a bizarre true story. With Herzog, you get at something indefinable about human nature.
Extraordinary things happening to ordinary people are remarkably common, but Dengler is an extraordinary man revealed through extraordinary circumstances. Although molded by adversity, he wasn't broken or corrupted by it; in a similar way, Herzog's creative "collaborations" with the narrative don't affect the essence of wide-eyed Little Dieter. Fly on, Little Dieter...
"How Dieter Dengler has been able to cope with all of this remains a mystery. He hides behind the casual remark that this was the fun part of his life." The casual matter-of-fact way in which he related his story was amazing. An unspoken message to just live your life as best you can with a positive outlook, even when horrible things happen.
A remarkable film about a remarkable man, but the wasteland of airplanes in which he found comfort were weapons of mass destruction in the hands of his adopted country. How many unsung heroes, heroines and innocents were massacred during the US 'adventure' in Vietnam?
calm, reserved, surreal and almost detached recounting of some intense stories that tell the worthlessness of life under the forces of nature, fear, anger, the big guys and their zealous. all these originated from a simple obsession to fly (and the histories of tragedies at least since WWII).
dieter is a a genuinely interesting person who has been through a heck of a lot and remains relatively calm and level-headed in spite of it all. he retells his experiences with no anger or vengeance, just a desire to share his story. his use of vietnamese/laotian people as literal props in his retelling kinda rubbed me the wrong way, surely there could have been a better way to include them? cute bear!
Herzog has a way of intimacy with his subjects. I felt like I was personally sitting down with Dieter and becoming hooked on his stories. This is definitely required viewing and the end of one of those days that I call a "bad day." It really puts things into perspective.