Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) Fools Gold

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) poster

Quite seriously the beginning opening sequence of Aguirre The Wrath Of God is ridiculously breathtaking, so stunning. A visually beautiful set piece, the panning shots of hundreds of men marching down the side of cliffs and mountains carrying all manner of unnecessary items. Hundreds of slaves and sherpers, interspersed with men in full armour, conquistadores in all their glory.

Tagline – A breathtaking journey into the heart of darkness.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) Don Lope de Aguirre Klaus Kinski 2

Add to this gorgeous scene the haunting music from the German ambient new-age electronic band Popol Vuh that actually penetrates the soul, it transfixes you. Electric keyboard strings and voices pre-warn of the coming doom and despair.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) woods

A 16th century Spanish expedition of soldiers and noblemen on a mission in search of the fabled gold of El Dorado. After hitting a dead end filled with mud and cut off by the white rapids of the flowing river. The leader of the main party has no choice but to abandon their plans and high hopes of riches. With no food supplies, helplessly lost, and with the reality of despair setting in, a group is organised together to build rafts and set off in search of food and rescue. Deep down everyone must see this as a hopeless task but proudly they fight on.

Tagline  – On this river, God never finished his creation.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) Don Lope de Aguirre Klaus Kinski

What they probably didn’t expect was politics, mutiny, cannibals, psycho locals, their own inner demons and a lunatic leader by the name of Don Lope de Aguirre, played by Klaus Kinski who looks as mad as he will become. Directed by one of Germany’s greatest original filmmakers Werner Herzog, a man who has such a talent for investigating the inner conflict of the human condition and always brings such obscure and awe inspiring films to make the viewer invest themselves full force into the experience.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) Klaus Kinski Pan Pipes

You try and hide in the most god forsaken places but those blooming pan pipers find you everywhere!

This is a journey in the heart of darkness, a truly poetic picture filled with metaphors and similes. I can imagine many essays have been written and discussed about this film, so I won’t drivel on in my illiterate way but believe me this is a fascinating film. Plus I know when that opening scene will ever leave me. Here’s the music.

Popol Vuh – Aguirre, The Wrath Of God Soundtrack

To be honest I should’ve seen this many years ago but you can’t watch them all and it’s now been ticked off list mountain. I very much recommend it, have you seen it before? Let me know your thoughts….. BTW one of those Conquistador helmets would make a most excellent popcorn bowl. Take it easy and enjoy film… Mikey Wolfman

Further Reading Links

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) Roger Ebert Review

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) IMDB

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) Wikipedia

5 thoughts on “Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) Fools Gold

    • Yep as you can see the opening blew my socks clean off too. However much I loved the rest of the film, it would be near on impossible to beat that whole magnificent sequence, especially with that haunting score. How amazing to hear you got to see it on the big screen.

      I’ve always known of him but wouldn’t know from what, expect one film from my teenage years, “Android” and I had a thing for Brie Howard even though the naked Cassandra is who most were there for. I have it cued up for a watch after what must be 30 years since I saw it. So Kinski will be back soon but probably not in his finest hour, hehe.

      Great article Mike. I enjoyed reading that. I had heard and read some of the antics those two nutters got up to but haven’t seen that documentary. Sounds essential viewing. Will be on that.

      Have always thought his brother from another mother could be the helluva lot less angry, Dominique Pinon. 🙂

      Woyzeck and Fitzcarraldo have both been added to the mountain.


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