Cinema: Meditation on Madness

AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD

Directed and Written by WERNER HERZOG

In 1560 a party of Spanish explorers, pursuing their curious national dream of El Dorado, are stopped by the fierce mountains and jungles of Peru. The commander detaches a smaller group to proceed down a rather forbidding river to see if they can discover some easy way out of this bad country.

The leader of this party is a gentle spirit, dignified and impractical. To him there is nothing ridiculous in the sight of his men toiling along treacherous trails, weighted down by armor, struggling to transport an entirely useless cannon. He has...