• © Werner Herzog Film / Deutsche Kinemathek

Cobra Verde


Klaus Kinski, José Lewgoy, King Ampaw, Peter Berling,

Herzog and Klaus Kinski’s final collaboration continues their exploration of colonial madness in Indigenous worlds, with Kinski starring as a Brazilian outlaw whose antisocial rage only grows as he journeys from bandit to plantation overseer to, finally, African slave trader in Dahomey. Unlike the usual Heart of Darkness–type tropes, Kinski’s white devil doesn’t go mad after encountering Africa; he’s already insane by the time he arrives, and yet somehow still preferable to the brandy-sipping elites that sent him. Herzog matches Kinski’s feral, eye-bulging performance with an “intoxicated, intoxicating sense of spectacle . . . [that] contains sequences of horrifying sublimity and ethereal beauty” (A. O. Scott, New York Times).

Jason Sanders
  • Werner Herzog
Based On
  • The Viceroy of Ouidah by Bruce Chatwin

  • Viktor Růžička
  • German
  • Portuguese
  • Ewe
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 111 mins
  • American Genre Film Archive

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