We continue our month long look at Werner Herzog documentaries that are streaming on Netflix.
This week we are looking at Encounters at the End of the World the only Herzog movie to be nominated for an Academy Award.
In this movie Herzog travels to Antarctica to interview the people that live and work there. His goal was to find out what kind of people go there and he made it very clear he “would not come up with another film about penguins”. What Herzog finds in Antarctica are a group of fascinating people. He interviews everyone from maintenance workers to scientists. As always Herzog uses his unique outlook on things to ask questions that get interesting answers. Although he does spend time showing us the wonder and beauty of Antarctica Herzog is more fascinated with the contrast of the mini city that has been built. Lamenting that it “has climate-controlled housing, a bowling alley, and abominations such as an aerobic studio and yoga classes. It even has an ATM machine”.
At the end of the movie the viewer is left with a feeling of awe for the land and the people that work there. It takes a special kind of person to want to work there and Herzog is the perfect person to document them.