Whether he’s hypnotizing his crew, eating his shoe or trying to tame Klaus Kinski, Werner Herzog is always doing something different and wonderful, with his latest documentary Herzog has completed an amazing life-long journey of him in making what seems like the final chapter to his investigation of volcanoes throughout the globe. A fascination that we can trace back to Herzog’s 1977 short film, La Soufrière. Now at around 70 years old and having amassed a greater knowledge of life itself over his countless adventures since La Soufrière, Herzog returns to document volcanoes in with a different mindset, leaving his trustworthy volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer to explain the science behind this natural beasts and himself interpreting how volcanoes become the cultural groundwork of many cultures that evolve around them.
Unlike La Soufrière and Encounters at the End of the World where he only gets to analyze one volcano, in Into the Inferno Herzog goes on a globetrotting adventure not just to document different types of volcanoes around the world, but to prove how multiple civilizations around the world center their beliefs around these titanic forces of nature. Not only does he depict how smaller tribes in Oceania are entirely convinced Gods live inside the volcano’s core, but Herzog intelligently draws comparisons between the shared beliefs that between these remotes tribe and one of the most civilized countries in the world, Iceland.
Not only does Herzog delve deep into the mythos of volcanoes as cultural epicenters, but with Into the Inferno you also get the awesome diversions Herzog does while moving towards his final statement. In Into the Inferno, not only do you gather a great understanding of volcanoes and how they fit in with cultural beliefs, but Herzog also goes to Ethiopia around the film’s mid-point and brings you into contact with the remains of Earth’s first humans, randomly inspects a mysterious Chicken-looking church in the middle of Indonesia and presents us with thoughts on North Korea totalitarian government.
We already know Werner Herzog is probably the most intriguing director working today, as well as being on the best, and Into the Inferno being almost his 70th film just reaffirms his status as a cinematic legend. Like the volcanoes in this film, Werner Herzog is an intellectual force of nature, an incomprehensible being that we love and will always remember for bringing such interesting films as these, Into the Inferno is another fantastic voyage with Herzog that you must view.