The best of Werner Herzog’s filmography on Netflix: people with impossible dreams, the mysterious nature of existence, and Herzog’s “ecstatic truth”.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)
Cave of Forgotten Dreams is my favourite of Herzog’s filmography on Netflix. In it he explores the ancient cave paintings of the Ardeche valley in France, the oldest known to man. The paintings are wonderfully preserved and give some insight into the world of Europe’s Prehistoric men, which was populated by lions and buffalo, creatures which have long since disappeared from the European landscape. Also, more importantly, we are also able to peer into the mind of the ancient artists who created the magnificent panels, whose imagination and powers of observation we can still empathise with today.
Into the Abyss (2011)
As the title indicates Into the Abyss is a harrowing journey into the most sinister parts of the human psyche. Interestingly enough, perhaps to avoid politicizing the film, Herzog’s distinctive narration is absent from this bleak musing on the death penalty.
Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (2016)
Some of the greatest social changes of our time have taken place in the mundane office spaces of Silicon Valley. It was in these quiet and unassuming places that our networked civilization was first created. In Lo and Behold, Herzog interviews some of the techno-visionaries who have ushered in this brave new era.
Into the Inferno (2016)
A fascinating film which examines the turbulent relationship human beings have with volcanoes, one of the most violent and destructive natural phenomena on Earth. Of particular interest is the trip Herzog makes to North Korea where he was invited to film a volcano research program and is presented with a stream of political propaganda.