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The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

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Product Description

Werner Herzog's masterful German film The Engima of Kaspar Hauser tells a historical true story about a young man barely able to speak and walk, who mysteriously appeared in town square early one morning during the year 1828 in Nuremberg, Germany. The townspeople found him clutching the Bible in one hand and an anonymous letter in the other which explained that he had been held captive in a dungeon his entire life, and only recently was he released, for reasons unknown. After the townspeople exhibit him in a sideshow attraction, this strange young man is taken in and studied by a psychologist, who tries to educate and civilize him, and throughout the years this man will learn to read, write, and even play the piano. Herzog slightly blurs the line between what is fact and what is fiction, and he seems to care less about the accuracy of the story itself and more about the transcendent power of it's images. 

Manufacturer Description

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser - The true and mysterious story of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who suddenly appeared in Nuremberg in 1828. He had been held captive in a dungeon for his entire life that he could remember, and had only just been released, for reasons unknown. Who is this man, and who would want him dead?

In his widely acclaimed attempt to fathom The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, director Werner Herzog probes a real-life mystery that has puzzled German society for nearly two centuries. In the title role, Herzog ingeniously cast the equally mysterious street musician Bruno S., whose mesmerizing performance is unique in the history of film. Isolated since infancy in a dank cellar, the now-adult Kaspar is abandoned in 1820s Nuremburg by his unknown custodian; townsfolk futilely speculate on his origins, and he's shaped by a bourgeois villager who places rigid, conflicting restraints on his new and peculiar perspective on the world around him. It's telling that Herzog's preferred title is Every Man for Himself and God Against All, for this is an eerily effective cautionary tale about an innocent man of nature who moves from one prison to another in a cruelly fateful universe. The mystery lingers, making The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser a deep, resonant reflection on the nature of humanity. --Jeff Shannon

Product Information

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser is not so much a linear screenplay but a series of striking dream-like behaviors and images which act on the emotional core of the mentally challenged character of Kasper, and of the strange offbeat character's that seem to inhabit the town of Nuremberg. These dream like sequences that at first might seem unrelated to Kaspar in fact reflect his emotional struggles on perfecting the teachings of 19th Century German high-society customs and manners. The striking images that Herzog presents to us, like a desert caravan led by a blind man, a stork getting eaten by a worm, or a line of penitents struggling up a hillside, are the exact pieces in a puzzle that are needed to solve the mystery of this ambiguous stranger; even if we know the mystery is in itself unsolvable. What makes The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser such an intriguing and enriching experience is Kaspar's increased intellectual development which brings into play questions of language, growth and education and how it can shape our thoughts and feelings as we grow as a person.

Key Product Details

  • Director: Werner Herzog
  • Number Of Discs: 1
  • Run Time: 110 (Minutes)
  • UPC: 013131156799