Shown as part of the Werner Herzog Retrospective

FITZCARRALDO (Peru / Germany), 1982, 157 min.)

The story was inspired by the real life Peruvian rubber baron, Carlos Fermín Fitzcarraldo and is set in the 1890s. In this intoxicating, one-of-a-kind film, obsessed opera lover “Fitzcarraldo” Fitzgerald dreams of building a concert hall in the middle of the Amazon jungle in his city of Iquitos, Peru. The fastest way to collect the funds necessary is through a rubber concession, thus he seeks to purchase a parcel of land. The only remaining parcel is inaccessible: while it straddles a river, the parcel is cut off from the Amazon by a treacherous set of rapids. However, Fitzcarraldo notices there might be a way to connect to the Amazon. Fitzcarraldo’s plan is to reach the point where the two rivers nearly meet and then, with the manpower of enlisted natives, to physically pull his three-story, 320-ton steamer over the muddy 40 degree hillside across an isthmus, from one river to the next. This film is one of the director’s best-known films and stars Klaus Kinski and Claudia Cardinale. Directed by Werner Herzog.

Ticket/Reservation Info:

$10 General Admission; $8.50 AFI Members; $9 Seniors (65+), Students (with valid ID), and Military; $6 Children (12 and under). Tickets may be purchased at the box office (opens 30 minutes before the film) or online at

AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md. (METRO: Silver Spring)

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Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital