Lektionen in Finsternis
1992 / 54m - Germany
Lessons of Darkness poster


December 31, 2020


Herzog documents the Kuwait war, but not in a very traditional way. There are few interviews and little in the way of context, even Herzog's trademark voice-over is largely absent. Instead, he shows us hellish landscapes that often reminded me of fancy CG shots out of Hollywood disaster flicks.

Lessons of Darkness is a rather poetic documentary, with a heavy focus on aesthetics to get its message across. I can only applaud that and I readily admit that the film looks quite stunning. I did find the grandeur of the music less fitting, and the interplay between audio and video a little lacking.

The film would've been ever better without the two or three interviews, which I felt detracted from the mood Herzog was trying to create. There are quite a few impressive scenes that linger well beyond the end credits and Herzog's approach deserves some praise, the execution could've been better though.