FRG / 1977
30 min. / 16 mm / Original version
The La Soufrière volcano on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe shows all signs of being about to erupt, which experts predict to be an “unavoidable catastrophe”. With his camera team, Werner Herzog heads into the evacuated towns and documents streets and houses entirely devoid of people that are now populated by the various domesticated animals left behind. The filmmakers get as close to the source of danger as they can by foot, before finally switching to a helicopter. Close to the volcano, they meet isolated people who have refused to flee the approaching destruction. They are asked about the motives for their decision as well as their thoughts about life and death. In the end, the expected catastrophe never actually occurs.
Germany, UK / 1999
65 min. / DCP / Original version with English subtitles
A journey into the depths of the jungle: Herzog, who failed to get seats for himself and his team on the overbooked flight LANSA 508, which later crashed, wanted for a long time to make a film with its only survivor, Juliane Koepcke, who was 17 at the time. With her and her husband, he looks for the site of the crash, they find remains of the airplane and follow the path that led Juliane out of the jungle after 12 days. With admirable calm and objectivity, she gives an account of her martyrdom. The respect which the film team responds to this stance pervades the film.