This began as a response to BMSeattle about ‘Wings of Hope’(1998)*, another, IMO, faux TV documentary from Werner Herzog. It got a little long so I’ll post it here and hopefully give some relief to the comments section for Mark’s post, Grizzly Man.
*The film is about a 17 year old German girl, Juliane Koepcke, being the sole survivor of a plane crash in the Peruvian jungle in 1971. 92 (11) others on the plane died. The plane was hit by lightening and disintegrated. Given that planes are routinely hit by lightening and don’t do that, there is your first howler to judge this “real life” drama by.
BMS- It’s utterly ridiculous. I’m no doctor but I would think shock would kill her given the wounds listed. Or the bugs and bacteria, if not creepy crawlies behind every tree which would make it a short stay in the forest primeval for a vulnerable white girl (Please do note the significance of her shimmering blondness- the film is implicitly flavored with the European invader’s anxieties regarding the indigenous of color, and their wild environs the invaders worked so hard to subjugate and monetize).
This yarn is also born out of the imagination of a James Hilton or William Henry Hudson, like Hudson’s novel, ‘Green Mansions’, which starred Audrey Hepburn in the movie version as a hot white chick far from civilization (Norman Bates is the male lead, el oh el)
Herzog again admits he lies (“Koepcke’s dreams, as described in the film and shot in documentary style, were invented and scripted by Herzog.”- from Wiki)
So what would be the motivation for making a hoax film like this?
In days of old, Rome went to great lengths to restrict travel. All journeys needed official approval. Rome controlled the traffic on the roads they built- these were the information highways of the day.
Today, we see travel restrictions slowly tightening around our collective throat: No fly zones over some foreign territories. No fly lists of “suspicious” individuals. Annoyances great and small when allowed to fly. Invasive threat demonstrations all through the boarding process along with all these new fees to make the cost to the customer steeper. And why do you need to fly anyway, Bubba? There are tourists- I mean- terrorists, everywhere. Stay put and let Google Earth do the travelling for you (spam ads on the house)- Mexico?! You want to see relatives down there? That’s a bullet riddled inferno of blood drinking drug cartels- Don’t you watch the news?! SIT! Staaaaayyy…. (I digress)
Add all that to straight up fear of flying exacerbated by such a film, even while those who remain earthbound remain in a grip over loved ones who do fly. These manufactured fears do change behavior and brain wave patterns by mere suggestion.
Like the Savior, 911 is always with us, even pre-incarnate-
A few years prior to 911 we get Herzog’s plane crash documentary, ‘Wings of Hope’, a different title than its fictional predecessor, ‘Miracles Still Happen’, but no less devout in tone. Herzog, like a handful of celebrities on 911 (Seth MacFarlane?), claims he was plucked by fate from certain death by missing this ill fated flight back in 1971 thanks to some minor paper glitch. Or heavy traffic to the airport or whathaveyou… (He was scouting locations for Aguirre: The Wrath of God- That part I do believe- He was in Peru) This scrape with death was the long simmering motivation for Herzog to mount this project. He claims he couldn’t find Koepcke which was the reason for the delay. He finally located her through a priest who presided over Koepcke’s mother’s funeral. (Mom was sitting next to her daughter on the plane but got separated and died days later as Kopecke should have. Right. (Honestly, I doubt Herzog believes in anything- certainly not his own utterances- but I’m sure he revels in the manipulative effects devotional sentiments have on the faithful. It’s the con-artist’s meat).
Calling all vetted filmmakers!
Did an actual plane crash in Peru? Maybe, but why would Herzog wait for over a quarter of a century to make a film about it? Because his is one more voice in the chorus of anxiety, this particular squawk being part of the intro to the 911 symphony. They waste no opportunity to condition the public, even in the lesser attended “art” houses were Herzog rules the imaginations of so-called cultured folks who need more than ’splosions from their cinema experiences.
Also: Koepcke herself wrote the story for the ’74 film about her ordeal. That project reeks of Church funding- said Church owning the hearts and minds of 90% of Peruvians, and probably their land as well. That should tell us something about the shifting nature of psy-ops over time, where here we see a retrofitting by Herzog, turning an old (white, western European, pro-colonial) Church op into 911 fodder. To repeat, they waste nothing. Which is why so many ops read the same. This is all television programming and TV shows are about ritual, not plots that go somewhere novel. Rituals condition emotional responses. That’s, too, is the con-artist’s raison d’etre.
One more Also: In the film, several parts of the plane are recovered by Herzog and company. Forgive me for being skeptical, but lawsuits descend like exploding plane debris on airlines where luck like this happens. The most dogged investigators on all of planet Earth are insurance investigators and that wreckage would have been found and poured over inch by inch in some hanger in Lima within days of this “survivor” being found. This film is just not credible from any angle, but that’s Herzog for you.