Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997)

Director: Werner Herzog

Starring: Dieter Dengler, Werner Herzog, Eugene Deatrick

More info: IMDb

Plot: German-American Dieter Dengler discusses his service as an American naval pilot in the Vietnam War. Dengler also revisits the sites of his capture and eventual escape from the hands of the Vietcong, recreating many events for the camera.

My rating: 9/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

Fantastic documentary.  We hang out with Dengler, hearing him tell us about his childhood, growing up in postwar Germany, coming to the U.S. to fulfil his dream of being a pilot, going to Vietnam, etc.  What makes this so wonderful is Dengler revisits the locations of the crash, POW camp, where he was captured (twice) and he recreates some of those experiences with locals acting as his captors.  If it sounds corny, it isn't.  It works beautifully.  It's much better than Herzog's own filmed re-telling of Dengler's story in RESCUE DAWN (2006).

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