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Directed by Les Blank, Maureen Gosling

Peru, United States 1982 95 mins. In English

Werner Herzog spent four years in the jungles of Peru making FITZCARRALDO, the chronicle of a mad Irish dreamer who wants to bring opera to the Amazon. Like the film’s hero, Herzog himself became a man of total obsession. Overcoming the seemingly impossible challenges of finances, location, weather, cast turnover, and wars with both native Indians and star Klaus Kinski—not to mention such well-publicized feats as trying to haul a 30-ton steamboat over a mountain—Herzog’s singular determination is revealed. Les Blank’s evocatively titled chronicle of the production of FITZCARRALDO is one of the most remarkable and absorbing studies of the creative process ever filmed—a film as enduring as its subject matter.

Genres: Documentary



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.