Werner Herzog Richard Combs - Essay

Richard Combs

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

As a well-formed narrative, in fact moving along at times like Hollywood costume drama with a message to deliver about vaulting ambition, Aguirre, Wrath of God has all the beguiling simplicity of Werner Herzog's first feature, Lebenszeichen. Both are situated in clear historical periods (and in the general context of an invader being gradually driven mad by an aggravated 'cultural shock'—a social and metaphysical displacement), both concern individuals who decide that to cease obeying orders is the key to personal exaltation and to reversing history altogether, and in both, the events that are set in motion by this decision finally wear away the narrative and the hero, obliterating the...

(The entire section is 649 words.)