The film tells the spectacular story of Dieter Dengler, a German who emigrated to America and became a pilot with the US navy during the Vietnam war. He was shot down and spent time in a brutal prison camp, but managed to escape and became a war hero. LITTLE DIETER NEEDS TO FLY is a virtual prototype of Werner Herzog’s method of documentary filmmaking. It is illustrative of his "ecstatic truth" that transcends the mere depiction of reality. Herzog does that with an extremely subjective approach, the stylization of key experiences, and re-enactments that push psychological boundaries.