Invincible

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  • Drama, Foreign, Period , produced in 2001 UK, Germany, Ireland, USA
  • Actors: Jouko Ahola, Tim Roth, Udo Kier
  • Directed by: Werner Herzog
  • Rating: 6.6 out of 10
  • Plot Summary: Werner Herzog's first fiction film since 1984's WHERE THE GREEN ANTS DREAM, INVINCIBLE is based on the true story of Zishe Breitbart (Ahola), a Polish Jew from a humble shtetl who was touted as the world's strongest man. Discovered at a traveling carnival and brought to Berlin to perform in a nightclub run by the self proclaimed clairvoyant Erik-Jan Hanussen (Roth), Zishe is forced to perform feats of strength on stage in a blonde wig under the name Siegfried in order to mollify the club's significant Nazi contingent. However, as the naive Zishe begins to see the danger the Nazis represent to his people, he declares his heritage on stage, outraging the secretly Jewish Hanussen and his Aryan audience.


    Populating his cast with mostly nonprofessional actors, including Jouko Ahola, a Finnish real life "strongest man" contest winner, Herzog takes what could have been a rousing sentimental biopic and turns it into a brooding cautionary tale about a character with mythic aspirations. Providing contrast are Tim Roth's scaly and charismatic Hannussen, and Udo Kier's brief turn as the aristocratic Helldorf, which, combined with Herzog's dreamlike imagery, give the film the feeling of a surreal fable.
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