Little Dieter needs to Fly
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- Werner Herzog Bio
Top Customer Reviews
To be fair, LDNTF paints on a much larger canvas than GM. From the ragged end of WWII in Germany, where Dieter first becomes fixated on flight, to the late 60s bombing of Vietnam, Dengler's life is caught up in the sweep of history. He speaks without passion of stripping wallpaper from bombed buildings, boiling it, and eating the glue. Like so many others, at 18 he took his dream to the U.S. and, after much determined hard work, became a citizen, a college graduate, and a Navy pilot. Herzog secured superb documentary footage throughout, which is carefully pieced together with bridges of Dengler speaking. The film flows seamlessly, music is used exceptionally well, and Herzog does not push an agenda - he is simply telling a man's story, or, more properly, letting him tell it.
To say Dengler led an astonishing life doesn't do it justice. His plane was shot down over Laos, miraculously he survived the crash.Read more ›
Dieter Dengler grew up in Post WW II Germany under the most horrid conditions and hardships, which shaped him and hardened him for the troubles that lay ahead. Forced to boil old wallpaper for the nutrients it held, and later interned to a clockmaker who would force him to work long hours, beating him when he made mistakes, Dengler seems strangely unjaded by his experiences.
As soon as he could, Dengler immigrated to the United States where he enrolled in the Navy as a pilot, and was soon flying missions over Laos and Vietnam.
This is a survivor's story. This is the story of a man's indomitable spirit, and the unquenchable will to survive. You will watch this film and be amazed, changed, and come to glimpse the incredible power of the human will to not only survive, but overcome and thrive!
And German filmmaker, Werner Herzog, has crafted a film-retelling of Dieter's story that suggests the presence of Dieter's subconscious world of dreams. The documentary looks naturalistic, in that parts of the documentary include authentic film footage from the Vietnam conflict and much of the interview is filmed in the actual jungle setting of Vietnam and Dieter's captivity is re-enacted with real Vietnamese people who play along as his tormentors. But artistically, Herzog's film makes the natural world into an abstract and challenges our perceptions of reality.
The Vietnamese folk music is juxtaposed against images of villages being napalm-bombed. The singing voice, in the context of Dieter's experience that he called an "abstract world" becomes an angry, buzzing sound, as if Dieter's memory and narrative are unable to process his deepest nightmares.
Herzog's film images and sounds are linked organically to the story, but his techniques assert that reality exists below the surface of rational thought. Film images of a hungry bear and a corpse-like dummy pilot become metaphors for death that function as instruments of film poetry. The hungry bear that pursued him, Dieter believed, represented death, which he says, intended to eat him. The U.S.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Without a doubt the most vicariously painful and visceral documentary I have watch in years... maybe ever. Read morePublished 6 months ago by fdoamerica
As a Vietnam veteran there are certainly parts of this I find sad although I can relate to Mr. Dieter's desire to fly (I never got past private license. Read morePublished 8 months ago by OverthehillBilly
watching this after rescue dawn (the dramatisation of the story) makes it a perfect companion piece. Read morePublished on June 25, 2008 by Robert Wylie
This is a GREAT documentary. The story is an amazing story of survival. My family lived across the street from NAS Alameda at the time Dieter left Alameda on his voyage to Vietnam. Read morePublished on June 12, 2008 by The Blue Baron
I saw Rescue Dawn right before I saw Little Dieter Needs to Fly, and I think it might've made the documentary better for me, having done that. Read morePublished on April 17, 2008 by Robert S. Hollis
That's really all there is to say. Herzog lets the man tell his story, his way, from the various locations where the events happened. Read morePublished on April 14, 2008
most people don't have the courage and strength that this man possessed. his courage to go forward under the most trying of times is simply AMAZING. Read morePublished on February 8, 2008 by P. Rodriguez