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Even Dwarfs Started Small

Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970)
Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen – 1970
Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog

Helmut Döring – Hombré
Gerd Gickel – Pepe
Paul Glauer – Erzieher
Erna Gschwendtner – Azucar
Pepi Hermine – The President
Gisela Hertwig – Pobrecita
Gerhard Maerz – Territory
Hertel Minkner – Chicklets
Gertrud Piccini – Piccini
Marianne Saar – Theresa

Review by Sven Soetemans

Herzog’s “small” triumph,

I’m almost ashamed to say it but…this film truly TERRIFIED me! Usually speaking, this is like one of the best compliments a movie can ever receive, but I’m afraid that in the case of “Even Dwarfs Started Small” this feeling is very misplaced. Werner Herzog’s minor masterpiece is intended as an allegoric social portrait, hence I’m not very proud to admit that it haunted me all night long. As wrong and unsympathetic as it may come across, these little people look naturally eerie and their appearances made an impression on me that was even stronger than the mesmerizing story.

“Even Dwarfs Started Small” is a revolutionary film, pretty much covering all the daily wars every human being wages, only the protagonists are all dwarfs. Since these people’s position in society already are oppressed as it is, this film looks extra powerful and compelling. All the actors and actresses deliver amazing performances, even though none of them had any experience in cinema. Especially the ‘main’ character Hombre is a truly intriguing man. Other aspects that increase the depressing intensity of this film are the black and white cinematography, the extended sequences showing farm animals and – most of all – the raw, tribal music.

This definitely was one of the toughest reviews I ever wrote, simply because this is such a multilateral classic and I regretfully can’t get past my personal fear of small shapes.

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70s Films

A tour through the great and not so great films of the seventies The seventies saw a huge change in styles and genres from the advent of the slasher horror movies like Halloween and the blockbuster summers films started by Jaws. More...

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