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Salt and Fire

In Werner Herzog’s wild apocalyptic or world saving scenario a scientist is kidnapped while researching a huge environmental catastrophe and finds himself in the middle of a salt lake with two blind children…


QUEEN OF THE DESERT from 2014 had sand in its gears and Werner Herzog managed to bring out one of Nicole Kidman’s weakest performances. Herzog cast Veronica Ferres in his current film SALT AND FIRE and she hasn’t been this good since SCHTONK!. Ferres plays a scientist who is leading a Bolivian delegation in researching an enormous environmental catastrophe. However, she and her colleagues are abducted. A band of soldiers and a masked wheelchair user are a new kind of challenge for Prof. Sommerfeld – especially when the friendly, philosophical leader turns out to be the CEO of the consortium that is responsible for the Diablo Blanco catastrophe. The theater-like abduction thriller is only a prelude to the Herzogian film madness. Between a super volcano that can erupt at any minute and destroy humanity and a salt lake that is spreading out and threatening to swallow up entire countries, our hero suddenly finds herself stranded on a cactus cliff in the middle of the glisteningly white sand. Huascar and Atahuallpa, two blind children, are with her and she has to ensure their survival. Admittedly some of the dialogue is involuntarily funny and some elements are set up too simply. But SALT AND FIRE really is a bold project: Herzog doesn’t care about conventional dramatizations and unfurls the complete picture from something very small while also including self-deprecating moments in a very serious apocalyptic scenario. Real astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss is cast as the occasional wheelchair user and part-time villain and suggests that perhaps aliens will come here at some point and save humanity.

Harald Mühlbeyer

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Deutschland/Frankreich/USA/Mexiko 2016, 97 min
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director: Werner Herzog
Author: Werner Herzog
DOP: Peter Zeitlinger
Montage: Joe Bini
Distributor: Camino Filmverleih
Cast: Veronica Ferres, Michael Shannon, Gael García Bernal, Werner Herzog
FSK: 6
Release: 08.12.2016




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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