In Development

Werner Herzog – Radical Dreamer

Werner Herzog is an icon. His fame grows every year. Many images from his films are now part of the collective memory. The circumstances surrounding his productions are the stuff of legend. In Hollywood, in particular, he himself has acquired cult status. His celebrity has provided him with roles in blockbusters, where he acted as a matter of course with Tom Cruise (“Jack Reacher”) and more recently in “The Mandalorian”, the live-action Star Wars streaming series – although he doesn’t consider himself an actor and never took lessons.

His is a career against all the odds. To this day, Herzog speaks English with a Bavarian accent. His films are held in high esteem amongst connoisseurs but aren’t exactly box office hits with mass audiences. And while he has risen to stardom in his adopted country, the US, in Germany, the country of his birth, of all places, he has had it harder, and still does. Here he’s considered a well-kept secret, and many of his films never made it into cinemas.

To mark Herzog’s eightieth birthday, “Werner Herzog – Radical Dreamer” presents for the first time and exclusively a comprehensive portrait of one of the most influential artists of our time, whom Time Magazine named one of the world’s 100 most influential people. It deals with Herzog’s “classic” films from the 1970s and early 1980s as well as his American years, starting in the mid-1990s, during which his documentary films have been especially remarkable. In them he pursues his personal concept of “ecstatic truth”, overlaying fact and fiction in search of a deeper essence. But what is this essence, this truth beyond the factual, which for Herzog contains the secret of the world and hence his films? What gave rise to this astonishing life journey and these contradictions? And what is the truth about Werner Herzog?

In exclusive glimpses into Herzog’s work process, previously unknown archive material and numerous interviews with fellow artists, we undertake a trip that takes us to those places in the world and in ourselves where ecstasy can be found.

Script and direction: Thomas von Steinaecker
Camera: Henning Brümer
Editor: Volker Schaner