Fata Morgana

A science-fiction elegy of demented colonialism in North Africa, this three-part documentary features footage of filmed mirages, or fata morgana, in the Sahara Desert. The first part shows an unpeopled, beautiful wasteland, the second introduces signs of human wreckage and the third shows wretched vestiges of life. The imagery has not aged, despite having been filmed over thirty-five years ago; the only narration is the recitation of a Mayan creation myth. Totally imaginative, it is a legend of life at extremes. The soundtrack to the film includes German classical music with pieces by Mozart and Handel, as well as rock music by Blind Faith and Leonard Cohen, which give the film a timeless quality. Directed by Werner Herzog.

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