Even Dwarfs Started Small
(Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen)
Helmut Döring, Gerd Gickel, Paul Glauer, Erna Gschwendtner,
An angry, anarchic thumb in the eye to conventional cinema and polite society, Herzog’s notorious second feature emerged from the upheavals of the late 1960s to imagine another revolution, drawn more from Tod Browning’s Freaks or the surrealist shivers of Luis Buñuel than reality. On a bleak volcanic island (Lanzarote, Spain), in an institution for dwarfs, the inmates have finally rebelled, and they are ready to destroy the world that persecuted them. Hieronymus Bosch in black and white, Herzog’s hellishly bleak visuals are echoed by a similarly unholy soundtrack of otherworldly chants and incessant cackling. “One of the most genuinely disturbing films I have ever seen” (Richard Roud, The Guardian).