“Has life without fire become unbearable for them? Others, seized by madness, follow suit. Now they are content. Now there is something to extinguish again.”

Maybe the closest I’ve ever seen to someone attempting to promote a true post-human agenda. That’s not a bad thing – it’s impressive and compelling.

Herzog presents so much of his terrifying footage – fires and smoke stacks and landscapes of unfathomable magnitude – with little narration, Bible-like chapter titles, beautiful music, and a hazy sense of time. By the point at which humans become the focus of the film, they truly seem alien and incomprehensible beyond broad outlines of behavior.

Herzog’s thesis (besides his general condemnation of the conflict) seems to be that humanity’s actions are simply resultant of their unconscious desire for destruction, destruction which actually renders humanity irrelevant in its enormity. We gape in awe at our ability to create the unknown, and we let ourselves burn if our unknown is beautiful.

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