Aguirre der Zorn Gottes (Aguirre, la cólera de Dios), Werner Herzog, Germany, 1972, 94'
Guest speakers: Juan Aizpitarte, artist and curator of the exhibition Yo, el traidor (I, traitor) on Lope de Aguirre in the Basque Maritime Museum and Xabier Alberdi Lonbide, director of the Basque Maritime Museum.
Against a red-stained screen, the following text opens the film: “After the conquest and pillaging of the Incan Empire by the Spanish, the native peoples created the legend of the land of gold, El Dorado, said to be on the mudflats at the source of the Amazon. In late 1560, a great Spanish expedition departed from the Peruvian plateau, under the command of Gonzalo Pizarro. The expedition disappeared without a trace. The only testimony: the diary of Fray Gaspar de Carvajal.
Christmas day, 1560. We reached the final pass in the Andes range and for the first time gazed upon the promised forest below us. I offered mass in the morning and we later descended among the clouds.”
Thus begins this cinematic classic and what constitutes one of Herzog's best films, not to mention one of the best performances by Klaus Kinski—brilliant, wild, fiendish—in the role of Lope de Aguirre.