Burden of Dreams

Bay Area premiere of 4K Digital Restoration

In Conversation

  • Film archivist Anthony Matt is responsible for the restoration of Burden of Dreams as well as many of the recently remastered Les Blank films.

“One of the most vivid studies of the creative process ever filmed.”Herald Examiner

Burden of Dreams documents Werner Herzog’s obsessive drive to make his 1982 film, Fitzcarraldo. The title character (played by Klaus Kinski) was himself obsessively driven to build an opera house in the turn-of-the-century Amazon. Stunning footage of the seething jungle and its native inhabitants sets the scene for director Herzog’s four-year struggle to complete his film. To finance his project, Fitzcarraldo moves a riverboat over a mountain between two rivers, which Herzog re-creates for his film, the jungle fighting him every step of the way. Facing a nonstop series of obstacles to his dream—including border wars, the location camp being raided and burned by Indigenous peoples, and the loss of the original star, Jason Robards, after filming was 40 percent complete—Herzog claims, “I’m running out of fantasy,” as birds call loudly in the background. In one of the more unusual films about filmmaking, Les Blank and Maureen Gosling capture a story that has to be seen to be believed.

Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 94 mins
  • Argot Pictures

Event Accessibility

If you have any questions about accessibility or require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact us at bampfa@berkeley.edu or call us at (510) 642-1412 (during open hours) with as much advance notice as possible. More information on accessibility services.