Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival

Programme (2020)

Little Dieter Needs to Fly (2020)

“Men are often haunted,” Werner Herzog tells us at the beginning of Little Dieter Needs to Fly. “They seem to be normal, but they are not.” His documentary tells the story of such a haunted man, whose memories include being hung upside down with an ant nest over his head, and fighting a snake for a dead rat they both wanted to eat.

Roger Ebert

In his childhood, during the Second World War, Dieter Dengler briefly locked eyes with a passing pilot bombing his German home village. At that moment, Dengler knew that he had to fly.
Dengler became a pilot in the United States army. During the Vietnam War, his plane was shot down and he was captured by enemy troops. By a miracle, Dengler is one of the only soldiers that managed to escape from the hands of the Viet Cong. In Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Dengler himself recounts the story of his survival to master director Werner Herzog’s camera.

Dengler goes on a journey with Herzog from Germany to the United States and finally to the jungles of Laos, the setting to this horror story. To bring his story to life, Dengler even re-enacts events to the camera, even though he is still haunted by them after all these years.

Herzog returned to Dengler’s incredible story later in his fictional film Rescue Dawn (2006), in which Dengler is played by Christian Bale.

Inari Ylinen

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Film Title : Little Dieter Needs to Fly
Language : englanti
Director : Werner Herzog
Year : 1998
Length : 80
Age limit : K12
Format : DCP
Cinematographer : Peter Zeitlinger
Editing : Joe Bini, Glen Scantlebury, Rainer Standke
Producer : Werner Herzog
Production Company : Werner Herzog Filmproduction

Screenings :
Fri 31.1. at 16.45, Orion