Fitzcarraldo (1982)

This German produced film was an art house sensation on release and is widely acknowledged to be director Werner Herzog’s best. Fitzcarraldo’s journey in a steamboat down the Amazon River is, from the outset, a foolish endeavour that should come to an end. Fortune hunter Fitzcarraldo’s “mission” is supported by his brothel keeping mistress who provides the money to get Fitz the boat and a makeshift crew. While she is humoured by the eccentric, Fitz aims to exploit the Amazon’s resources and bring opera to the jungle as opera is a much-cherished love of his. Fitz (played by the distinguishable Klaus Kinksy) determinedly pursues his dream at all costs. But there is fear of retribution from the superstitious locals for disturbing their patch. Astoundingly, Fitz takes the boat over a mountain with the probability of losing the boat. I was waiting for the moment when it all comes to custard, and the nightmarish moment when it almost does, doesn’t deliver on that promise. It ends unexpectedly upbeat for such a foolhardy assignment, where one anticipated a failure of some magnitude, and a commentary on the futility of it all. 2/4.