Director: Werner Herzog
West Germany / 1977 / 115 min
In German, English, and Turkish with English subtitles
Can anything be more existentially bleak than the shabby slums of Berlin? “Yes!” exclaims Herzog via Stroszek, “try Wisconsin!” Three years after headlining The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Bruno S. stars, in a role written expressly for him, as a hard-drinking ex–mental patient who dreams of the so-called promised land of America. He aligns himself with a like-minded prostitute (Eva Mattes) and a near-senile elderly man (Clemens Scheitz), but upon their arrival in Wisconsin, the three misfits find that they’re just as trapped in Dairy Country as they’d been in Germany, if not more so. The sour and bitter Stroszek earned worldwide critical and commercial acclaim, further establishing Herzog as the master of new cinematic realities. Restoration courtesy of Shout! Factory and the American Genre Film Archive.