Little Dieter Needs to Fly DVD
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Directed by Werner Herzog
Produced in 1997
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - European Film
Herzog's documentary about Dieter Dengler, a German who grew up with a passion of flight and emigrated to the US to join the navy and become a pilot during the Vietnam War. Shot down, captured and tortured, Dieter became one of the few American prisoners to escape. Working with Herzog, he recreates his incredible journey. His story also inspired Herzog's Rescue Dawn, starring Christain Bale.
Publisher: Soda Pictures
Length: 71 mins
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 4th October 2010
Cat No: SODA051
- Wings of Hope (49min) - documentary by Werner Herzog exploring the story of Juliane Kopcke, the sole survivor of a Peruvian plane crash in 1971.
by Anon on 5th September 2007
Little Dieter Needs to Fly, a 1997 documentary by director Werner Herzog about the life of Vietnam war hero Dieter Dengler, begins with a quotation from the Book of Re... Read on
Little Dieter Needs to Fly, a 1997 documentary by director Werner Herzog about the life of Vietnam war hero Dieter Dengler, begins with a quotation from the Book of Revelations: "And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it, and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them." As the film starts, Dieter walks into a tattoo shop in San Francisco and looks at a painting of Death in a fiery, horse-drawn chariot. "Death didn't want me," he says, referring to his survival after six months in a Viet Cong prison camp.
Dieter came to the United States when he was only 18, joined the Navy and was trained to become a pilot. He moved to California and was sent to Vietnam in 1966. "It all looked strange," Dieter says, "like a distant barbaric dream." On his first mission as a pilot, Dieter was shot down and captured by the Pathet Lao, then later turned over to the Viet Cong. He remained a prisoner in Laos for six months.
Herzog documents Dengler's life from his childhood in Wildburg in the Black Forest region of Germany to his escape and rescue from Laos. Told through archival footage, dream sequences, recreations in actual jungle locations, exotic music, and surreal imagery, the film is divided into four chapters, each representing a period from Dengler's life. Like a Greek tragedy, Herzog has named the sequences: The Man, His Dream, Punishment, and Redemption. Little Dieter Needs to Fly is an unforgettable film that moves beyond the limitations of the genre to become a moving testament to both the absurdity of war and the resilience of the spirit. Be sure to watch past the end credits on the DVD edition. There is a postscript that truly completes the experience.