Archive of films Land of Silence and Darkness / Land des Schweigens und der Dunkelheit

1971, 85 min

Section: People Next Door
Year: 2018

Although only three people and minimal funding were involved in its creation, this picture is one of the most important documentaries of all time. The story of Fini Straubinger, a deaf-blind woman, demonstrates what it means to be truly alone. How can deaf-blind people understand our world? And can they reconcile themselves to their fate?


Although a self-described eccentric, Werner Herzog always rejected the characterization of his protagonists as outsiders or marginalized lunatics. They are not the crazies – it’s society which has cast them aside or simply forgotten about them. In The Land of Silence and Darkness this is often literally true, as in the case of a deaf-blind man who opts to live in a cowshed, or of young Viktor, who has been left to the mercy of unimaginable isolation his entire life. Some of them, like the remarkably empathetic Fini Straubinger, never give up, however, using their indomitable will to convince society that deaf-blind people are here to stay and that they must be taken into account rather than left to exist forgotten and unloved.

Nikola Paggio

About the director

Werner Herzog (b. 1942, Munich, Germany). Selected filmography: The Land of Silence and Darkness (Land des Schweigens und der Dunkelheit, 1971), Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972), Stroszek (1977), Woyzeck (1979), Fitzcarraldo (1982), My Best Fiend (1999), Grizzly Man (2005), Rescue Dawn (2006), Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (Happy People – Ein Jahr in der Taiga, 2010), Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World (2016)


Werner Herzog Film GmbH
Türkenstrasse 91, 80799, Mratín
Tel: +49 89 330 407 67
Fax: +49 89 330 407 68

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: People Next Door
Director: Werner Herzog
Screenplay: Werner Herzog
Dir. of Photography: Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein
Editor: Beate Mainka-Jellinghaus
Production: Werner Herzog Filmproduktion
Cast: Fini Straubinger
Sales: Werner Herzog Film GmbH

© 2020 FILM SERVIS FESTIVAL KARLOVY VARY, a.s. +420 221 411 011 All contacts

CinemasCinemas PartnersPartners
ProgramProgram About the projectAbout the project
HistoryHistory GalleryGallery
Festival DailyFestival Daily
HistoryHistory ContactsContacts
Archive of filmsArchive of films KVIFF TalksKVIFF Talks
Industry Days July 5 - July 8Industry Days July 5 - July 8 ContactsContacts
VideogalleryVideogallery GalleryGallery
HistoryHistory Festival GuideFestival Guide