For nearly five years, from 1977 to 1982, German filmmaker Werner Herzog (Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Nosferatu, The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser) was locked in a desperate effort to complete the most difficult film of his career–a river-adventure called Fitzcarraldo. It was a perilous grail from the beginning–filmed under rugged conditions in the Amazon jungle of Peru. Furthermore, Herzog was determined to shoot the toughest scenes without models of special effects, particularly a central sequence in which hundreds of Indians pull a full-sized, 320-ton steamship over a small mountain. It was not the first time Herzog had risked everything for new images, but in this case the dangers were so extreme that he invited Les Blank (Always for Pleasure, Chulas Fronteras, Garlic is As Good As Ten Mothers) to shoot a film of Fitzcarraldo being made. The result was Burden of Dreams, a film that documents not only the making of Fitzcarraldo, but also the Amazon jungle and the conflict of modern and tribal cultures. The Burden of Dreams book extends what David Chute called, "One of the most vivid studies of the creative process ever filmed."
Included in this collection are:
The screenplay of Burden of Dreams.
Letters and journals of Werner Herzog, Les Blank, and Maureen Gosling written while on location in the Amazon.
Articles on Burden of Dreams by Michael Goodwin, Colin Westerbeck, Jr., Pat Aufderheide, and others.
Numerous movie stills and candid photos of Werner Herzog, the cast, and the crew of Fitzcarraldo.
BURDEN OF DREAMS can be ordered from Flower Films.