Aguirre, the Wrath of God, 1972

Aguirre, the Wrath of God was released in 1972. It was written, produced, and directed by Werner Herzog. The film is a Western German adventure film that takes place in 1560. The plot of the film is about a thousands conquistadors on a journey to find the city of El Dorado. On their quest, some of the conquistadors get off track from their original plan and lose track of reality. The leader of the group is eventually overpowered and killed by the group. The men follow a new leader whom ironically led the group to their death. This leaves the audience pondering about what the conquistadors are doing and thinking about the leadership role of the group.

Dramatic Analysis: Describe the sets, costumes, and make-up if these elements of the film’s design are significant.

The set of the film takes place in the Peruvian rainforest. The characters in the film climb through mountains, ride intense water rapids, and cut through vines in the jungle. Throughout the film is outdoors, a scenic view of nature everywhere.

The costumes in the film are very tribal and almost knightly looking. The men are dressed up in armor and look ready for battle throughout the film. The women in the film wear corsets with white full-necked blouses. Some of their blouses have white ruffles around the neck. Not much of their bodies are showing except for their heads.

Surprisingly, the amount of make-up used in the film is very minimal. The men are dressed up in their battle armor, so they look rough and dirty. On some of the characters it looks as if there might be a very small if any amounts of make-up on around the eyes, but it is too hard to tell. The women in the film are not wearing make-up either. Dressed well and looking clean, the women are all natural looking showing their soft facial features.

The elements of the sets, costumes, and make-up are all in keeping with each other, understated and pretty simple. Everything is relatively modest. Once said, “A man only brings what he needs for the hunt”. In this film the style of the set, costume, and make-up seem to fit the quote perfectly because of its simplicity.


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