The White Diamond | Chicago Reader

The White Diamond

This 2004 video documentary by Werner Herzog makes a fascinating companion piece to his hair-raising Grizzly Man, even though his manipulations are more obvious. Herzog tags along with Graham Dorrington, an aeronautic engineer from the University of London, as he attempts to launch a dirigible above the jungle canopy near Kaieteur Falls in Guyana. A similar expedition in 1992 ended tragically when wildlife filmmaker Dieter Plage fell from another of Dorrington's airships and was killed, and in the video's most gripping sequence a guilt-ridden Dorrington recounts the doomed flight in agonizingly precise detail. He's nearly as obsessed (though not quite as foolish) as Grizzly Man's amateur naturalist, but Herzog tires of him and refocuses on a poetically inclined miner along for the journey, who obliges the director with sweeping pronouncements about man and nature. 90 min.

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