The White Diamond

2004

Documentary

141
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 4,375

Synopsis


Downloaded times
February 12, 2021

Director

Cast

Werner Herzog as Father Umbrillo
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
808.44 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
88 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.62 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
88 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by nienhuis 10 / 10 / 10

Herzog is a "gutsy" documentary filmmaker

I like Herzog's films generally, but I think that he is most satisfying as a documentary filmmaker. It seems to me that Herzog is not really interested in "story," the aesthetic feature which dominates the response of probably about 99% of the people who watch films in the United States. Herzog is interested, it seems to me, in visceral experiences, and the documentary form frees him more to explore this kind of experience. I found this film thrilling. What is it "about"? There are lots of false leads for those viewers who want to reduce it to something package-able, but I don't think it's about "obsession," as the Netflix blurb suggests. I also don't think it's simply about Dorrington, the Guyanese rain forest, adventure, or "atonement," which is another Netflix suggestion. I think that, as Herzog would have it, the film is about something ineffable, perhaps whatever is behind that mammoth waterfall where millions of swifts live. Is that cave a metaphor for the world the camera is always trying to connect us to? It doesn't matter. I think Herzog wants us to "experience" this film rather than to analyze it. Herzog seems to me to make films by following his gut instincts and there are times when his cinematic choices are thrilling. I am especially fond of his courage with long takes, holding the camera on Dorrington's confessions long after we have become uncomfortable with them. I think Herzog is forcing us to experience Dorrington as a human being. If we choose to distance ourselves with analysis, that is our choice and I suspect that Herzog would shrug that response off and simply make another movie.

Reviewed by mstomaso 9 / 10 / 10

Herzog in Love

Once again, the most adventurous documentary film maker of our time returns to his most beloved subjects and his most beloved setting. The White Diamond is about an obsessed man who wants to conquer a relatively unexplored frontier in the South American rain forest. Yet this is no sequel or remake of the amazing Herzog film Aguirre. Rather, in The White Diamond, Herzog returns to his beloved rain forest to tell the story of Dr. Graham Dorrington's struggle to build and fly an ultra-light helium airship as a way to explore the resources and ecology of the South American rain forest canopy. Unlike many of Herzog's recent films, The White Diamond has an irrepressibly upbeat tone, as Herzog seems - as he can seemingly only do in South America - to celebrate the simultaneous absurdity and brilliance of the human spirit. Like Little Dieter, Fitzcarraldo, Rescue Dawn and Kaspar Hauser, The White Diamond is about remarkable people who do remarkable things. And like almost all of Herzog's portfolio, the photography and soundtrack are magnificent. Herzog appears quite often in this film, and, as he has done frequently in recent times, gives us a bit more of a view of his interior world. Unlike Grizzly Man, however, this is not the dark, constrained hostility of the great director's view of life, but rather the hopeful Herzog who is interested in what makes people tick. And, unlike many of his films, he seems to like what he sees this time. The White Diamond occasionally tangentializes away from the main story to talk to us about things that inspire the local inhabitants of the rain forest where the story takes place. A mysterious cave is explored, but the mystery is preserved in deference to the wishes of a local tribe. The poet philosopher of Dorrington's team is a local Rastafarian herbalist who finds tranquility and joy in everything, but whose rooster is his major inspiration. And then there are Herzog and Dorrington themselves, who are a whole different story. Some of Dorrington's incessant commentary can be a little annoying, but I believe Herzog left it in the film to give us a clear sense of the man himself - for which I can not fault the director. Literally and spiritually uplifting, The White Diamond is a truly lovely film which uses setting and story to create a lasting impression. Like most of Herzog's films, it bears intense, wide-awake, and repeated scrutiny, and is worth thinking about afterward.

Reviewed by howard.schumann 9 / 10 / 10

Sudden outbursts of enormous beauty

Werner Herzog's The White Diamond, a documentary about the exploits of Dr. Graham Dorrington, an engineer at St. Mary's College in London, England, might have been called "Little Graham Needs To Fly". Dorrington is a solitary dreamer who is eager to explore wilderness areas and tropical rain forests in a helium-filled airship. In particular, he wants to explore the rain forest canopy of Guyana and Werner Herzog brings his camera and his best narrative voice along for the ride. The film is both the story of a man and his dreams and an ode to an unspoiled wilderness that has so far withstood man's insatiable need for "progress". Like other Herzog films I have seen recently, there are moments of involving action pitting man against nature, along with stretches of dullness and sudden outbursts of enormous beauty. Just to watch the flocks of swifts fly in formation above Kaieteur Falls, a waterfall four times the height of Niagara, backed by the cello of Ernst Reijseger and the chorus of the Tenore E Cuncordu De Orosei, is an experience in itself worth the price of admission. The film begins with a brief overview of the history of flight including scenes of the horrific crash of the Hindenburg Zeppelin in Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1937, a tragedy that ended the dream of travel in lighter than air vehicles. The film then shifts to Guyana where Dorrington is in the process of assembling a two-person airship to help him make his journey and confront his past demons. Dieter is a thoughtful man though given to childlike outbursts of enthusiasm. He dreams of "drifting with the motors off in the peace and quiet, quietly floating above these forests in the mist". Though Herzog seems to want to portray all his protagonists as slightly mad, Dorrington appears too grounded to fulfill the director's wishes. His purpose contains elements of both inner and outer exploration. He wants to move on from a tragic accident that occurred eleven years ago when his friend and companion Dieter Plage was killed while flying one of his airships. Dorrington is reluctant at first to discuss Dieter and his tragic end, but later recounts in agonizing detail the precise details of the accident for which he blames himself. In a scene later revealed to have been staged, Herzog and Graham argue about whether cameras should be allowed on the test flight of his airship christened The White Diamond by a local miner, but Herzog prevails because he fears that it may be the only flight that will take place. We sense throughout the early part of the film that any flight is dangerous and extreme precautions are taken to ensure safety. There are other peripheral characters that we have come to expect from Herzog. A young cook does a Michael Jackson dance to hip hop music while standing on the edge of a cliff and we meet Mark Anthony Yhap, a diamond miner whose eloquent philosophy contrasts sharply with the more inner-directed Dorrington and he waxes poetic when talking about his beloved rooster. Yhap is a Rastafarian, an African religion that believes that Haile Sellassie is the living God. Yhap wants to fly so that he can visit his family in Spain whom he hasn't seen in many years and his contact information appears in the credits. All this is peripheral to the main event, however, and as we soar over the rain forest, we forget Herzog's description of nature as "a brutal place full of murder and cruel indifference" and simply bathe in its majesty.

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