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- Audio Commentary with Director Werner Herzog
Top Customer Reviews
In "Cobra Verde" Kinski plays Francisco Manoel da Silva, a man ruined when family catastrophes and a bad drought cost him his plantation. In an attempt to recover his property and put his life back together, he takes a grinding job with a mining company. When the owners try to shortchange him after a hard day's work, he stomps off in a rage and begins a career as the notorious bandit Cobra Verde.Read more ›
Herzog is concerned with authenticity when portraying African cultures, and this may be one of the most realistic depictions of colonial Africa ever committed to film. Interestingly, the actor who plays the King of Dahomey is a real African tribal king.
Klaus Kinski plays the title role with a crazed intensity which according to Herzog mirrors the fact that he was slipping over the edge in real life. Kinski's character Cobra Verde longs "to go forth from here to another world", but in fact he is already in another world - Herzog's camera captures the sense of strangeness and mystery in each landscape the film passes through.
In many ways 'Cobra Verde' is like an extended dreamscape, hyponotic yet full of surprising juxtapositions. While not Herzog's most coherent film, in terms of stylised cinematography it ranks up there with his best. It is a work of art that demands attentive viewing.
Contrary to the myth that whites are responsible for the African slave trade, the film also acknowledges the historical reality that slavery was practiced extensively by Arabs and Africans (not that whites didn't actively participate in it, of course). Herzog discusses some of these issues in the director's commentary track, which is interesting in its own right.
Since this is a Werner Herzog movie we know that the focus will be on the uncaring ways of this Earth of ours. Both leaders, the plantation owner in Brazil and the king in Africa, are shown to be the same despite the color of their skin. They both lack morals and believe their own hype. But Herzog isn't interested in building these guys up as evil doers; his films don't need pre-packaged villains because to him we are all villains. When the plantation owner bemoans the fact that he has yet to impregnate every mulatto girl in his fields it is not with the intention of painting him a racist or a rapist. Rather the point is that all men in power are the same. They always want more and will stop at nothing to get it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was disappointed with this movie. It was not what I expected to see from Werner Herzog, and Klaus Kinski. Read morePublished 10 months ago by MATZ
Klaus Kinski showed up and gave the best performance any actor could with this rather dull script. I just don't know what Herzog was trying to say here. Read morePublished 22 months ago by mr. contrarian
This film starts with a grand idea for an expensive blockbuster film with a cast of thousands. Like other Werner Herzog films, it requires the great actor Klaus Kinski to express... Read morePublished on November 10, 2013 by Ben J Korgen
I bought the Kinski/Herzog box set and to be honest I wasn't expecting much from the rest of the films aside from Aguirre and Fitzcaraldo but this one really surprised me. Read morePublished on August 9, 2011 by ringer
Francois Truffaut once called Werner Herzog the world's greatest living film director. He's certainly my favorite, for several reasons, many of which I have trouble articulating in... Read morePublished on December 4, 2010 by Daimonion
After having watched the entire series of Kinski/Herzog collaborations, I felt a bit tired for this one. Read morePublished on May 10, 2009 by Robert J. Crawford
Cobra verde can be considered one of the best films of the great German director Werner Herzog.With amazing images, principaly in its disturbing and superb end, it portraies with... Read morePublished on April 26, 2009 by roger"blues"