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Lektionen in Finsternis (1992)

Lektionen in Finsternis (1992)

Werner Herzog


Lektionen in Finsternis (1992) is a German,English,Arabic movie. Werner Herzog has directed this movie. are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1992. Lektionen in Finsternis (1992) is considered one of the best Documentary,War movie in India and around the world.

This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames, with few interviews and no explanatory narration. Hell itself is presented in such beautiful sights and music that one has to be fascinated by it.

Lektionen in Finsternis (1992) Reviews

  • Must be seen to be believed


    Herzog has been making brilliant films since the late '60s, and frankly it's a bit of a pain in the arse keeping up with such a prolific director. However, if you are a fan of his features and staggering documentary work, "Lessons of/in Darkness" demands your immediate attention. The film is essentially a birds-eye view (often quite literally) of the plague of oil-choked death, fire, chaos and destruction that resulted from the brief but grotesquely internecine technological blitzkrieg of the Gulf War. Herzog, of course, takes particular interest in the seeming madness of the crews of mercernary American firefighters that are putting out the oil well fires across the deserts. Various points on the conflict and its aftermath inevitably bubble to the surface, but arise without overt proselytizing. The images do the majority of the talking. And they are eye-popping. Startling, frightening visuals that stand out even in the Herzog canon -- great vistas of blackness and glowing terror that would make any sci-fi director soylent green with envy. They are accompanied by little else: brief interstitials, an almost nonexistent, terribly serious Herzog narrative and a ghostly and elegiac score. The short interviews with individuals who suffered are heartbreaking, perhaps all the more so due to their brevity. See this.

  • Herzog's apocalyptic vision of Kuwait is grand and memorable


    Herzog's grandiose manner, sense of the operatic, and true historical events come together awe-inspiringly in this apocalyptic vision of oil fires and destruction left in the wake of the Gulf War. If ever a man was fitted to undertake the portrayal of destruction on such a grand scale, then Herzog is he. It would be interesting to know whether this documentary was a commission or Hertzog directed this film on a personal, artistic basis. Whatever the reason for its production, Lessons of Darkness (it's English title) is a stunning piece of work. The Kuwaiti landscape is presented in sweeping, wide angle shots making it look like the surface of an alien planet rather than the Middle East. Huge oil fires, the cratered burnt desert, dark oil spills, crumpled and abandoned machinery and war vehicles, appear in surreal and awesome parade which both take the viewer's breath away in their beauty and shock through the utter devastation. A central section, in which quiet footsteps walk alongside a ghastly display of torture implements, provides a shocking contrast to the images that open the film. Here the impact is smaller, more intimate but as moving. In the third and last part of the film, firefighters attempt to douse the oil blazes, their hoses and equipment rearing up and out in the smoke and sunshine, shining like monsters in the alien landscape. The sonorous music of Wagner perfectly complements a vision which is an entirely characteristic, memorable addition to Herzog's oeuvre.

  • Never call Herzog a dilettante


    Never call Werner Herzog a dilettante. When he sets out to make a film, he's willing to die for it. Although this film could have easily been adjusted to a pure documentary of the oil fires in Kuwait after the Iraq invasion, Herzog takes it to much higher levels. War. Apocalypse. Mythical Disaster. The End of Life as we knew it. THE Struggle (and, since this is made by a dark-visioned German, we do NOT win the struggle. At best, we earn a temporary truce with the Devil.) This is perhaps the MOST BEAUTIFULLY PHOTOGRAPHED COLOR film I've EVER seen. Bar none. The scoring, as usual, is unique and perfect. "Lessons of Darkness" is atypically vague for a film in my category "Life Changers", yet I am left extremely moved by the powerful effects of an exquisite visual and audio work of Art.

  • atmospheric magic


    I was lucky enough to catch a one-off showing of this at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and it completely floored me. Although not for everyone (as with all Herzog films), he gives us a present day apocalyptic vision, infused with biblical and mythical power that ranks as highly as any of his feature film efforts. Herzog's lush visuals reach a new peak (in particular the aerial footage), as they are accompanied by incredibly fitting music and narration. This film is as close as cinema comes to painting. If you get a chance to see this, then do not hesitate. Prepare yourself for a rush.

  • not quite science fiction, not quite documentary- science-reality?


    While Werner Herzog has stated that he looks at his 1992 film Lessons of Darkness as a work of science fiction, it shouldn't be discounted as a documentary either. But unlike the recent Wild Blue Yonder, where Herzog made a true science fiction documentary, this time the line is further blurred by making everything involving humans ambiguous as to their connections with their surroundings. Despite the locations being discernible as to where it's at, and the two interviews being indicative of where the people are possibly from, he keeps his 54 minute plunge into the Kuwait oil fields a primarily visual trip. It sometimes even felt like someone had decided to do a documentary on some civilization in the future in some obscure sci-fi novel (or, for a moment, like some wayward planet in the Dune universe). It's best then, as Herzog suggests, to take one out of context of the period, even if seeing the green-screen images (however brief) of the war conjures up immediate associations. If looking at this without the associations of the Iraq war part 1 or the Kuwait connection in it all with oil however (as with Wild Blue Yonder not associating that its 'just' NASA and underwater photography), it fills one with an immense wonder at what can be captured by a lens not bound by conventions. But amid the freedom that Herzog decides to use with his resources, he ends up striking his most visually compelling treatise on destruction to date. It's like he decided to take certain cues from Kubrick via 2001, and from just general nature documentaries, in order to capture the sort of alien aspect to this all. Because the act of setting these oil fields, which were left in a state of disrepair following said "fictional" war, is like facing nature off on a course against nature (fire on oil, then water on fire). There's also the element of industry that finds this way in this mix, especially because of the presence of human beings in this mix. Herzog, in avant-garde fashion (ala Dieter and Yonder) sections off the scenes with Roman numerals, and in theme and tone it does work (e.g. a part meant for showing the machines trudging around is labeled as being part of 'dinosaurs', or when the people set the oil on fire and the others are "mad" in coming in on it). And eventually what starts out as just simple, yet spatially complex, aerial takes on the tattered fields, turns into an act of seeing ruin and something that would seem incredible in an objective frame of reference. But that doesn't mean Herzog limits it completely to total dialog-less landscapes (which, as Herzog has said in the past, he likes to think in grandiose terms he "directs") of fire and obtuse figures fanning and producing the flames. He also gets two interviews with women who were around when the war was there- one who is given no words for what she says except that her husband was killed, another who had a child with her and who is now traumatized- and somehow this too works even out of context. I'm sure that if Herzog had wanted to, even in limited time and circumstances he was in, he could be able to work some political stance in the proceedings. His decision to keep politics or anything of the immediate recognizable in concrete terms is a wise one. Not that there isn't something concrete to seeing destruction of this magnitude. But there's an abstract quality to all of this after a while that makes it all the more real in nature, while still keeping to a control of the subject matter into something that looks out of this world, ethereal, and somehow unnatural while still being about nature all the same (hence science-reality). It's almost too arty for its own good in a small way, with Herzog's inter-titles and ultra-somber voice-over becoming like gravestones marking the sections of one set of madness to another. But there's also a daring here that is totally unshakable too, and from a point of view of cinematography it actually goes on par (if not occasionally seems to top) what Kubrick did in 2001 or what Lynch could've done in Dune, which is that a filmmaker uses places and objects that are of this world, but then taking the audience to a place that is also assuredly not so. It adds a level of mental discomfort, but then that's likely a big part of the point- seeing the oil burned by order of a government that's been on the news we watch every night is one thing (or rather was), but it's another to suddenly take it in another light, where in the realm of science-fiction it asks the viewer to raise questions via abstractions one might forget when taking it as complete truth. It's a hybrid film that you'd never see this in a cineplex next to the big-bang sci-fi action fare, but then most probably wouldn't want to.


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