Klaus Kinski during the filming of Fitzcarraldo (1982) Photo: Beat Presser © Werner Herzog Film / Deutsche Kinemathek
Werner Herzog: The Ecstatic Truth
Jun 18 – Oct 1, 2023
Eye Filmmuseum
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Eye Filmmuseum presents an exhibition and extensive film program around the work of celebrated filmmaker Werner Herzog. With an unorthodox oeuvre of more than seventy features, documentaries and shorts, Herzog has fascinated audiences with unforgettable stories, images and characters for more than half a century. His films grant us insights into the relationship between people and the chaotic world around them, as well as into the endless indifference of nature towards human life.

This exhibition features an insight into the way Herzog perceives the world. The ‘ecstatic truth’ – that is central to his work – reflects on Herzog’s fundamental quest, how he constructs and stylises images that expose this deeper level of truth: “I’m modifying facts in such a degree that they resemble truth more than reality”.

In his work, Herzog seeks out those places on our planet that seem most other-worldly. He points his camera at people who live and survive in extreme circumstances – from scientists in Antarctica to child soldiers. The filmmaker feels a great affinity with the dreamers, obsessives, the solitary rebels and the marginalised, who for whatever reasons stray from the well-trodden path. By telling the stories of these exceptional individuals, Herzog at the same time manages to tell bigger stories about human existence. He comes across as a cool observer, but one with incredible empathy. His deep interest in rushing technological developments also inspires many of his films.

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