Even Dwarfs Started Small
Directed by Werner Herzog
Running time: 96 minutes
Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970) is Werner Herzog's second feature and one that he produced, wrote and scored himself. Often read as a commentary on the widespread revolutionary impulses of the 1960s, the film takes place in a mental institution for dwarfs and midgets located on a remote island. Fed up with their incarceration, the inmates stage a coup and run amok in a chaotic flurry of wild behaviour including torture and violence. Shot amid the imposing volcanic landscape of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, the film was produced during the same time as Herzog's Fata Morgana and The Flying Doctors of East Africa and there are distinct visual and thematic connections between all three films. Herzog directed the cast – entirely made up of dwarfs and midgets – with characteristic eccentricity, eliciting delightfully anarchic acting as well as touching humour from them, whilst highlightly the absurdity and futility of 'socialised' human behaviour. The film was hugely controversial at the time of its release and immediately banned in Germany but achieved distribution through the director himself.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.