Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wings of Hope: The Self-Mailing Anecdote

I have acquired the Herzog Documentary Boxset, and yesterday I watched the first disc. The highlight was a doc called "Wings of Hope," about the sole survivor of a plane crash that happened in the Peruvian jungle in 1971. This happened at the same time that Herzog was filming Aguirre. And so, 25 years later, Herzog did a doc about this incredible woman who fell from the plane in the sky--that basically just disintegrated--and somehow landed in the jungle alive. And then she wandered, almost unconsciously--because of her concussion, and almost blindly--because her face was so badly bruised she could barely only see out of just one eye, for 10 days until some locals found her. The movie is very good; I think it's superior to Little Dieter Needs to Fly. (Note: I have not seen Rescue Dawn yet.)

The heroine of the movie, Julianes, is German by birth, but her parents lived in Peru because her father was a biologist studying the jungle ecosystem. Julianes grew up in the jungle, and that fact is evident in the movie because of how comfortable she seems to be in the wild. (She herself is a Phd biologist expert on jungle bats.) But when she was a child, her father was so desperate to get to Peru that he, a la Charles D. McKinley, shipped himself there. Well, actually, he sneaked on board a plane; packing himself in a crate of salt. So another man in a box. And overseas. And in salt. But I guess that was in another time; a time of heroes and villains. And maybe Herzog made the story up. So, who knows. I'll look into it.

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