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Burden of Dreams (1982) Poster

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Throughout production, Les Blank and his small crew became exhausted and exasperated from the stress of the work. Blank said that he felt "unconnected" to the people around him. Keeping up with the antics of Herzog and Klaus Kinski proved difficult for the reserved, introverted Blank. By the last week of production, he was so burnt out that he feared coming out of production "like some Viet Nam veterans, horribly calloused". He wrote in his journal, "I'm tired of it all and I couldn't care less if they move the stupid ship - or finish the fucking film".
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Les Blank would often ask Herzog to repeat statements while being filmed that he originally made off-camera. In a 2009 interview with Jesse Pearson for Vice magazine, Blank was asked to recall a scene in the documentary showing Herzog delivering a monologue about the violence and destruction of the jungle around him. Blank says that the scene originally took place in the middle of a canoe ride, away from cameras, but he liked the speech enough to coax it out of Herzog again. "When the moment was right," Blank told Vice, "I pulled him aside and said, 'Can I do a little interview?' And he said, 'Sure.' Goodwin led him around to something that sparked him off on that tangent again. That's how we got the speech.
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Ranked 14th in Filmmakers' Greatest Documentaries of All Time in Sight & Sound Magazine's September 2016 issue.
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The film poster was created by Montana artist Monte Dolack and Eduardo Sanguinetti.
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The Academy Film Archive preserved Burden of Dreams in 1999.
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One of the last scenes of the film includes a postcard-like photo of Werner Herzog. The photo contains an inscription written in Spanish, "¿Que palabra dire para convencerte que toda mi dicha esta en quererte?"
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This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #287.
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