South Bank London

Journeys into the Unknown: The Best of Werner Herzog

This January the BFI celebrates the idiosyncratic works of German filmmaker Werner Herzog.


This event has ended.

01 Jan - 31 Jan 2024

Ticket Information

Tickets from £11

Location Info

BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, London, UK

The month-long Werner Herzog season at the BFI Southbank celebrates the work of one of the most distinctive filmmakers of the last half-century and coincides with the release of a new documentary from Thomas von Steinaecker, Werner Herzog: Radical Dreamer

Whether making documentaries or fiction (though he himself dislikes the distinction), Herzog is constantly asking questions – about individuals, societies, the world.

Herzog’s films are defined by his intense curiosity and point of view; whatever the subject matter, his presence as the prime mover, on-screen or off, is always palpable. This selection of films from his long and illustrious career offers an opportunity to discover the wide range of his interests, the intelligence of his insights, and his sure sense of what makes a good story.

Fiction films screening in the season include:

AGUIRRE, WRATH OF GOD (1972), Herzog’s extraordinary film about Spanish conquistadors on a doomed quest for El Dorado,
STROSZEK (1977), the darkly amusing and deeply compassionate story of three misfits from Berlin who leave to start a new life in rural Wisconsin
WOYZECK (1979), based on Büchner’s iconic play about a soldier who is broken by cruelty and oppression
NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE (1979), a richly resonant tribute to the greatest era of German cinema
FITZCARRALDO (1982), possibly Herzog's most famously audacious film starring Klaus Kinski as an extraordinarily obsessive filmmaker
THE ENIGMA OF KASPAR HAUSER (1974), the eloquent and moving story based on the life of an 19th century German teenager who grew up total isolation

Documentary highlights chosen for the season include:

THE GREAT ECSTASY OF WOODCARVER STEINER (1974) Herzog’s love letter to the gravity defying sport of ski-jumping, 
LITTLE DIETER NEEDS TO FLY (1997), an extraordinary film about a man whose childhood experiences of the Allied bombing of Germany fuelled an insatiable desire to fly, 
MY BEST FIEND (1999), the fascinating, sometimes horrifying, highly personal study of Herzog’s former collaborator Klaus Kinski, 
GRIZZLY MAN (2005), Herzog’s portrait of Timothy Treadwell, who spent his summers in Alaska, filming his encounters with the grizzly bears before one of them killed and devoured him and his girlfriend, 
INTO THE ABYSS – A TALE OF DEATH, A TALE OF LIFE (2011), a richly detailed look at the circumstances surrounding a triple homicide allegedly perpetrated by Texan teen Michael Perry,
and THE FIRE WITHIN: A REQUIEM FOR KATIA AND MAURICE KRAFFT (2022), that documents the life and work of the late vulcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft.

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