Cobra Verde 1987 PG

6.00PM Fri 4 Aug 2017 (1hr 51mins)
GOMA | Cinema A | Free

SYNOPSIS

I was never so successful in filming the landscapes and capturing the spirit of the continent. There are some shots in the film […] that illustrate the pain slavery has inflicted upon an entire continent.

Cobra Verde will screen from an archival 35mm film print.

Cobra Verde is the story of Francisco Manoel da Silva, a 19th Century Brazilian rancher-turned-bandit who adopts the moniker of 'Cobra Verde'. After being offered work at a slave plantation, he is quickly exiled to West Africa after impregnating the plantation owner's daughters. Once there, he soon becomes wrapped up in the strange politicking and horrific slave trade of his new home.

This was the final screen collaboration between Herzog and his ferocious repeat lead actor Klaus Kinski, with the troubled shoot driving them both to a breaking point even more pronounced than their previous work together. In this appearance, Kinski is a raving force of nature – an unrelenting storm raging within a man's body.

The film itself is a depraved tale of madness and megalomania; it reaches for grand extremes and finds many of them. The film is full of huge spectacle, at times employing hundreds of extras for major set pieces. Once the action reaches West Africa, Herzog is too shrewd and too cynical to exoticise the locals with whom the eponymous character consorts. In the director's eyes, mankind everywhere is wrapped up in the same volatile pursuits that inevitably lead to self-destruction. And with Cobra Verde, he makes this point as spectacularly as he ever would.

CREDITS

35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 111 MINS, WEST GERMANY/GHANA, GERMAN/EWE/PORTUGUESE (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: WERNER HERZOG / BASED ON THE NOVEL 'THE VICEROY OF OUIDAH' BY BRUCE CHATWIN / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: THOMAS MAUCH, VIKTOR RŮŽIČKA / EDITOR: MAXIMILIANE MAINKA / PRODUCTION CO: WERNER HERZOG FILMPRODUKTION, ZDF, GHANA FILM INDUSTRY CORPORATION / PRINT SOURCE: DEUTSCHE KINEMATHEK / RIGHTS: WERNER HERZOG FILM GMBH / SCREENING FORMAT: 35MM