Werner Herzog’s peculiar, haunted film is a strangely intriguing portrait of a small village suffering a mini-apocalypse. The factory where the village creates its custom-made ruby glass has caught fire. The glass-maker is dead, so who knows the recipe? As the film opens, the town seer (Josef Bierblicher) looks into the vast crashing waves upon the mountains and foresees the disaster which is about to strike. Soon, the villagers descend into despair, hopelessness, madness and the murderous need for a scapegoat. There is superstition, mysticism and the powerful need to believe. Herzog (“Stroszek,” “Aquirre, the Wrath of God”) is known for his belief in the voodoo of locations, but this time seems to have dabbled in some “voodoo” of his own: he hypnotized most of the cast so they would give the most “honest” performances they could. The results are beautiful, eerie and quite haunting; a unique and original effort.


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