Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Little Dieter Needs to Fly

Why haven't I seen all of Herzog's documentaries at this point? They are all so damn good.

This one is about Dieter Dengler, who decided as a boy as his town in Germany was getting bombed during World War II that he wanted to grow up to be a fighter pilot. He later immigrated to the U.S. and was able to fulfill his wish.

However, during his first mission in the Vietnam War, he was shot down and taken prisoner. For the film, Dengler went back to Laos where he was kept prisoner to retrace his steps. Accompanying him are Laotian guerillas. It is never explained who these people are.
Considering that the film was made 30 years after he was shot down and most of the armed men are 25 and under, they are clearly not the people who kept him prisoner. Being a Herzog film, it doesn't really matter that this is never explained, in fact, it adds to the whole thing.

Herzog has remade this film as a feature called Rescue Dawn with Christian Bale as Dieter. It comes out in the U.S. later in the summer and from what I can tell, it is being marketed as a big budget adventure film. I have no idea what to expect but I look forward to seeing it.

As great as this movie was, I was a little disappointed that there weren't any scenes of Dieter and the armed men playing a little pétanque.

Directed by Werner Herzog
1997
DVD

1 comment:

youthlarge said...

I'm really looking forward to Rescue Dawn. After watching Little Dieter, I needed to learn a lot more about the man. I tried to find a NY Times obit, but surprisingly couldn't. One article I read called him a raconteur. I wonder what parts of Dengler's ordeal have been challenged?