Diamante Blanco (2004)
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Critic Reviews for Diamante Blanco
Herzog loves to document humanity's perpetual struggle with nature, and in The White Diamond, the jungle -- sometimes makes sophisticated human technology laughably clumsy.
Although The White Diamond is entire of itself, it earns its place among the other treasures and curiosities in Herzog's work.
When we finally see the ship sailing through majestic cloud formations over the breathtaking Amazon canopy, the name seems absolutely fitting -- for a gem of an aircraft and a jewel of a movie.
Herzog's eye for the weird sometimes makes the docu feel strained, but engaging characters imbue the pic with depth and emotional appeal.
A minor but often visually stunning meditation on nature and man's desire to conquer it.
The film is rather aimless, if not pointless, but you cannot take your eyes off it for one second.
Audience Reviews for Diamante Blanco
I still have yet to see the entire thing beginning to end, because this film is my sleepytime film - in that, I watch pieces of it really late at night when I can't get to sleep. Within 10 minutes of watching this I'm passed out. I don't know why, I think it's because of Herzog's magnificent voice. So while I don't necessarily have the clearest idea of what this film is about, I'm really glad it exists because the pieces I've seen of it are fascinating but also remarkably sleep-inducing.
Whew, this documentary is dull. A pleasant 30-minute short is buried in here somewhere, minus the tangents into diamond mines, lingering wildlife shots, hip-hop dancing and whatever else happens to catch director Werner Herzog's eye. But when the most gripping scene is someone else's footage of a past gorilla safari, you know the film is in trouble. The featured experimental balloon (described as a "white diamond" by one of the locals) isn't radical enough to generate much intrigue, and between the rain-forest setting, man-against-nature theme, droning tribal music and gravelly narration, "The White Diamond" plays almost like a Werner Herzog greatest-hits album. The final shot of thousands of swifts returning to their home behind a waterfall is exquisite, though.
As is typical Herzog, this isn't a documentary about the Amazon, it's a documentary about a man obsessed with piloting a small balloon over the Amazon. Herzog invests in the human characters and, as always, knows exactly when to let the cameras continue rolling to capture the best shots. If you want a film to relax to there's much here to sit back and enjoy, or you can get engrossed in the stories and people involved. Either way, it's yet another fantastic Herzog documentary.
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