“At that moment I knew it was my destiny to make films, and his [Kinski] to act in them” (Herzog). The powerfully hallucinogenic imagery of Herzog’s allegory was shot on a huge and arduous scale in the Peruvian rainforest. Kinski (at his uncontrollable best in one of the cinema’s most indelible performances) plays a crazed 16th-century conquistador obsessed with discovering the fabled city of El Dorado. Music by Popol Vuh.
Roger Ebert called the film “one of the great haunting visions of the cinema”, and its exploration of military psychology and colonialist madness was a major inspiration for Apocalypse Now.