The Wild Blue Yonder

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The Wild Blue Yonder
Yonder locandina.jpg
Poster for the Italian version
Directed byWerner Herzog
Produced byWerner Herzog Filmproduktion, Tetramedia, West Park Pictures
Written byWerner Herzog
StarringBrad Dourif as the alien
Martin Lo
Roger Diehl
Ted Sweetser
Donald E. Williams
Ellen S. Baker
Franklin Chang-Diaz
Shannon Lucid
Michael J. McCulley
Music byErnst Reijseger
Mola Sylla
CinematographyHenry Kaiser
Tanja Koop
Klaus Scheurich
Edited byJoe Bini
Distributed byFandango (Italy)
Werner Herzog Filmproduktion
Release date
  • September 5, 2005 (2005-09-05) (Venice Film Festival)
Running time
81 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Wild Blue Yonder is a 2005 science fiction film by German director Werner Herzog. It was presented at the 62nd Venice Film Festival, where it was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize. It went on to screen in competition at the Mar del Plata Film Festival and the Sitges Film Festival, it won "Carnet Jove – Special Mention" at the latter. Most of the film consists of recontextualized documentary footage which is overlaid with fictional (sometimes fantastical) narration. This technique was used in Herzog's earlier film Lessons of Darkness.

The film's name comes from the first line of the song "The U.S. Air Force". The scenes in space are courtesy of NASA.


The film is about an extraterrestrial (played by Brad Dourif) who came to Earth several decades ago from a water planet (The Wild Blue Yonder), after it experienced an ice age. His narration reveals that his race has tried through the years to form a community on our planet, without any success.

The alien also tells the story of a space mission he found out about through his job with the CIA. In the late 1990s debris from the Roswell UFO crash was unearthed and examined. Scientists incorrectly believed that they had contracted an infectious alien disease from the debris. An exploratory mission was launched to Blue Yonder (represented with archival footage from STS-34 and Henry Kaiser's diving expedition in Antarctica) to explore the possibility that a new, uninfected human colony might be established there. After deciding Blue Yonder was suitable for human habitation, the astronauts returned to Earth 820 years later, only to discover that the planet had been abandoned in their absence.



According to the DVD extras, the interview with the alien is filmed in Niland, CA, and nearby Slab City, CA.

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