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Little Dieter Needs to Fly1997

  • 4.4
Dieter Dengler knew he needed to fly from the moment when, as a little boy in war-torn Germany, he witnessed a fighter jet nearly clip his apartment building like some "almighty being." Within twenty years he was flying missions in Vietnam for the United States military. He was shot out of the sky on one such raid, enduring POW camps and jungle monsoons against impossible odds (the only kind of odds that interest filmmaker Werner Herzog). With characteristic bravado, Herzog travels back with Dengler to the same terrain of his earlier trials. Regardless of the setting, Dengler narrates his experience with feverish intensity; his unflagging energy as a narrator is finally the best evidence as to why he survived. Herzog would subsequently dramatize the same story as RESCUE DAWN in 2006 but, in Dengler, he found a real-world embodiment of his lifelong fascination with the limits of individual endurance and will, a man who can report, with all matter-of-factness, "Death just didn't want me." - Max Goldberg

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4 members like this review

Herzog...what a humanist, storyteller, filmaker! What makes this film remarkable is the way that the central narrative is punctuated with so many tiny, beautiful, everyday moments in this man's world. And I love the way he goes back and sits among villagers in Laos, and speaks of the pain he endured in that country; the way he demonstrates the separation between what he experienced then and who these people are around him now, without ever saying anything about it. It really touched me. There is much to live for and less to complain about after watching a film like this. It puts 'First World' problems in perspective, in an engaging, heart-opening way.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (7)

89f986f5a9552eaa3ea1e36dd00eaaf5?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0002
top reviewer

Herzog...what a humanist, storyteller, filmaker! What makes this film remarkable is the way that the central narrative is punctuated with so many tiny, beautiful, everyday moments in this man's world. And I love the way he goes back and sits among villagers in Laos, and speaks of the pain he endured in that country; the way he demonstrates the separation between what he experienced then and who these people are around him now, without ever saying anything about it. It really touched me. There is much to live for and less to complain about after watching a film like this. It puts 'First World' problems in perspective, in an engaging, heart-opening way.

4 members like this review

What makes Herzog, Werner Herzog, can be pigeonholed to this spectacular in-your-face movie because for him making a movie is a spiritual quest on earth and divine because it is absolute and personal. He has shown me in so many ways how living substance and mysteries can be captured like butterflies without a net but in a movie. He makes me love people.

2 members like this review

I don't know whether Herzog's gift is coaxing such performances out of his actors and subjects, or is in just recognizing their remarkable talents. Either way, the results are almost always extraordinary.

2 members like this review

The combination of narrative, cinematography, re-enactment and historical footage interweave into a coherent and expressive whole. This film showcases Herzog's genius as a writer and director.

1 member likes this review

This link cuts out after 1:51 seconds - tried everything to make it work.

great guy

Truly amazing and will always remember this man and his journey !