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Published on Mar 19, 2012
A rare example of Herzog tackling the "ethnographic" corner of the documentary genre, with wonderfully mystical results! Herdsmen of the Sun tells of the Wodaabe tribe, a nomadic African community (self-described as "the most beautiful people on earth") who annually practices a festival called Gerewol, in which females choose their mates from a lineup of super-elaborately adorned men with wild makeup, feathers and kaleidoscopic robes draping their seven-foot frames. Starting with the first scene, Herzog accentuates the ethereal nature of this rite further by layering early 20th-century recordings of opera on the soundtrack; the film's dreamlike depiction of a foreign people, very much at odds with the purist cinema vérité tradition of ethnography without adornment, is the embodiment of Herzog's own "Minnesota Declaration": that through "imagination and stylization", there can be such a thing as a poetic, ecstatic truth. Riverting, singular and totally heartfelt. Review source: http://tinyurl.com/7udrfh5