Sunday, July 01, 2007

Fact and Fiction

Werner Herzog, in a New York Times interview on his new film Rescue Dawn, talks about artistic truth:

Q. There have been some accusations that you’ve taken liberties with facts in some of your documentaries and in “Rescue Dawn,” particularly from the family of Eugene DeBruin. What is your reaction to those accusations?

A. If we are paying attention about facts, we end up as accountants. If you find out that yes, here or there, a fact has been modified or has been imagined, it will be a triumph of the accountants to tell me so. But we are into illumination for the sake of a deeper truth, for an ecstasy of truth, for something we can experience once in a while in great literature and great cinema. I’m imagining and staging and using my fantasies. Only that will illuminate us. Otherwise, if you’re purely after facts, please buy yourself the phone directory of Manhattan. It has four million times correct facts. But it doesn’t illuminate.

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