Little Dieter Needs to Fly

Little Dieter Needs to Fly

DVD - 2001
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Growing up in post-WWII Germany, all Dieter Dengler, the son of a Nazi slain during the war, dreamed about was becoming a pilot. At age 18 he emigrated to the United States and worked odd jobs until he was accepted into the Navy and began pilot training. He was sent to Vietnam around 1966 and on his first mission was shot down and taken prisoner. There, the Vietcong tortured him until Dengler engineered a hair-raising escape and eventually returned to the U.S. His story is recounted here via interviews with Dengler, archival footage and new footage seamlessly spliced together.
Publisher: Troy, Mich. : Anchor Bay Entertainment, [2001], c1998.
Edition: Widescreen version (aspect ratio 1.85:1).
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (DVD) (74 min.) :,sound, color ;,4 3/4 in.

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LPL_EliH Aug 18, 2018

Herzog carefully traces the throughline of Dengler's life, presenting a man who talks about his deconstructed childhood in WW2 Germany and the torture he later endured in the Vietnam jungle with a detached awe, almost mirroring the reverence for his beloved airplanes. Dengler really is "Little Dieter," seemingly holding no resentment towards those that tormented him. This childlike sweetness creates a moving contrast with the desperate violence he was a part of. Herzog adds some of his signature weirdness (throat singing etc) which adds a shot of levity and underscores the absurdity of life--it's best enjoyed if you don't take it absolutely seriously.

b
bobbles1
Apr 16, 2016

We liked this movie, took us back and gave some insight into a time when things were very different, when the US was the world's policeman and asserting its influence all over, now we watch it sliding into identity crisis and ambivalence about the world, as the West becomes ambivalent and in crisis about itself as well .....

1
1aa
Mar 14, 2016

At moments funny ("...if the leaf does not cooperate, you can chew on it..."), but mostly tender in how Dieter's extraordinary tale is recounted. A very moving film.

j
Jsmackenator
May 13, 2015

Well, its a pretty disturbing documentary. But also very interesting. Its sort of amazing the resiliency this man had as well as fragility, he was still haunted by his experience in Vietnam and you can see that by the way that he lived later in life. Very good, poignant and at times hard to watch as he recalls his travails.

a
akirakato
May 01, 2014

This is a 74-minute documentary about Dieter Dengler who, as a young boy, watched Allied planes destroy his village in Germany.
From that instant, he wanted to fly and emigrated to the States, enlisted in the Navy.
He was shipped off to Vietnam.
During his first mission, he was shot down over Laos and taken prisoner.
Despite torture and starvation, he escaped.
In this amazing, award-winning documentary, the director returns to the jungle with Dengler and films his incredible tale of
courage and survival against impossible odds.
It is a fascinating and mind-boggling tale of survival.

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