Wings of Hope (Herzog, 2000)

Wings of Hope (Werner Herzog, 2000)

Herzog is at his best in the jungle, and I think it’s safe to say he’s fascinated with the idea of jungle survival. The true story of Juliane Koepcke, the sole survivor of a plane crash in the middle of the jungle, is very similar to the true story of Dieter Dengler, who Herzog also made a documentary about. In fact, this is very similar to Little Dieter Needs to Fly in how Herzog accompanies his subject back to the incident site and has them recreate much of their experience.

In Wings of Hope, we spend time listening to Juliane talk about her experiences of survival, as expected, but we also get to know about her life before and after the crash. Herzog pretty much lets her talk about whatever she wants and it all fits together rather nicely. The film starts with Herzog revealing he was actually supposed to be on Juliane’s flight, but was bumped at the last minute. I was fascinated by this revelation. It also features an abundance of beautiful cinematography and a touching scene where Juliane visits one of the men who found her and brought her to rescue. Overall, this was a nice little experience.  8.5/10

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