Movie of the Week: ‘My Best Fiend’

Werner Herzog turned 79 years young on Sept. 5, so we have to pick one of his films as our Movie of the Week! It’s terribly difficult to pick just one Werner film. However, since “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” (1972) and “Fitzcarraldo” (1982) are two of his biggest and most ambitious narratives, it makes sense to pick a documentary that specifically turns to those flicks, so “My Best Fiend” it is!

“My Best Fiend” (1999) – Werner featured Klaus Kinski in five of his films, but after watching this documentary – in which Herzog describes, rationalizes, and demonizes his contentious relationship with the man – you’ll wonder how they ever finished one.  Although their initial movie was “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” (1972), they first met when Werner was 13.  Werner travels to a specific Munich apartment building – his childhood home for a stretch – and recalls his family lived with Klaus for a few months.  What?  Werner illustrates Kinski’s sheer madness at that time, and the documentary also offers footage from all five flicks, including the infamous actor’s mindless rages on “Aguirre” and “Fitzcarraldo” (1982), as Herzog and others on the sets describe their surreal experiences too.  Still, Werner worked with him for years, but hey, what are fiends for!

⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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