Saturday, May 07, 2011

Notes on Herzog's film: Where Green Ants Dream

I'm a massive fan of Werner Herzog. His films are some of the most astounding, ambitious, deeply meaningful works of cinema we have yet. When my father found out about my fandom, he shared me his favourite Herzog film, one I hadn't seen or heard of! One made right here in Australia, directly after he finished his most famous film Fitzcarraldo.

Where The Green Ants Dream is an amazing film, depicting the insurmountable gulf between traditional indigenous Australia, and its industrial migrants. The scene: White Man's Speech, captures the complete, non negotiable divide in this relationship.

But, its the Mr Malilah scene that moved me most, in a film absolutely packed with profoundly moving, funny, bazaar, and disturbing scenes.

The opening credits are just incredible! Especially at and after the transition around 2 minutes to the end.

It's a shame this sample cuts off at 4 minutes 39, because the scene goes for at least another 3 solid minutes! Incredible!!

Where The Green Ants Dream is a MUST see for anyone interested in the issues between indigenous and migrant Australia, land rights, traditions vs change, and the question of sustainability. Herzog, devoted this film to his mother, and took liberties in the basis of the story, making it entirely a work of fiction, but it is none-the-less based a whole range of real events. He certainly captures the depth of the issues, in a way Herzog only can, offering us in Australia, the valuable perspective of a thinking outsider to our plights. As always, the audio commentary from Herzog in the extra features of the DVD is well worth a viewing also.

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