Fata Morgana (1971 film)

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Fata Morgana
Directed by Werner Herzog
Produced by Werner Herzog
Written by Werner Herzog
Narrated by Lotte Eisner
Music by Blind Faith
Third Ear Band
Leonard Cohen
Cinematography Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein
Edited by Beate Mainka-Jellinghaus
Release dates
April 19, 1971[1]
Running time
79 min
Country West Germany
Language German

Fata Morgana is a film by Werner Herzog, shot in 1969, which captures mirages in the Sahara desert. Herzog also wrote the voiceover narration by Lotte Eisner, which recites the Mayan creation myth, the Popol Vuh.


The film was initially intended to be presented with a science fiction narrative, casting the images as landscapes from another planet. This concept was abandoned as soon as filming began, but was realized in Herzog's later films Lessons of Darkness and The Wild Blue Yonder.[2]

Much of the film's footage consists of long tracking shots filmed by cameraman Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein from the top of a VW bus with Herzog driving. The crew smoothed out the road themselves to prepare the shots.[2]

Herzog and the crew encountered many problems during the filming, most notably being imprisoned because cameraman Schmidt-Reitwein's name was similar to the name of a German mercenary who was hiding from the authorities and had recently been sentenced to death in absentia.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Fata Morgana". Filmportal.de. Retrieved October 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Herzog, Werner (2001). Herzog on Herzog. Faber and Faber. p. 303. ISBN 0-571-20708-1. 

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