Sunday, July 31, 2011

Even Dwarfs Started Small (Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen) (1970)

Director: Werner Herzog. Cast: Helmut Döring, Paul Glauer, Gisela Hertwig. 96 min. Comedy/Drama/Horror. West Germany.

A disturbing film. Dwarfs in a mental institution revolt against the instructor (also a dwarf), and perform the strangest of vandalism. But midway through, when you realize even people outside the institution are dwarfs, the film takes a sudden turn: is this about how ostracizing minorities forces them to eventually become violent ... or about how any society (minority or majority) succumbs to barbarism as soon as there's a void of civil social structure? Watching this stark black-and-white situation analysis is distressing, and rest assured the dwarfs' evil cackle will haunt you for some time. Herzog rarely fails to bewilder.

PS#1: Interesting. Imdb classifies the movie as "Comedy/Drama/Horror".

PS#2: Great Herzog quote: "Film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates."

PS#2: Thank you, Toast, for the recommendation.

Mo says:


  1. I'm glad you found something to interest you in this film. I didn't stop to think what Herzog was trying to say, I was just sickened.

  2. Actually, I thought the animal cruelty depicted in "Cannibal Holocaust" was much worse than this. At least Herzog kept much of the animal violence off-screen (for instance, we never know how the dwarfs killed the pigs and piglets); while in "Cannibal Holocaust", animals are killed and torn apart right before your eyes, from start to finish!

    The best movie I've seen from Herzog was "Grizzly Man". In that documentary (without me spoiling anything) Herzog had a great opportunity to show some real violence - but intentionally stayed away. When he was asked why he didn't include such and such in his film, he replied: "I wasn't planning on making a snuff movie."

  3. The very reason I avoided Cannibal Holocaust and will never watch Dwarfs again.
    Grizzly man looks good and I have ordered a second hand copy from amazon UK. Why I felt the need to promote amazon I don't know!?!