Sight and Sound - 09/01/2005
"[A] satire of bourgeois niceties..."
Director Werner Herzog's second feature film is a triumph of cinematic irreverence and uncompromising creativity. A cast that's comprised entirely of dwarfs stages an uproarious and chaotic rebellion in a remote and picturesque mountain asylum of undetermined purpose. Shot in harsh yet sumptuous black and white, the film features the upturned idyll of the sanitarium playing host to the erotically obsessed and absurdly acting dwarfs as they create a microcosm of the real world's ridicules. Unforgettable images, such as a group of blind dwarfs wearing oversize darkened goggles while hobbling along a mountain path and a dwarf couple attempting to consummate their relationship by leaping from a stack of magazines onto the conjugal bed, make EVEN DWARFS STARTED SMALL a thoroughly challenging visual experience as well as a compelling allegory for society and its outcasts. As the visual absurdity of the film reaches a sort of slow-motion fever pitch, Herzog's innate humanism injects the seemingly inhuman scenario with a deep pathos that captures viewers' attention as well as sympathy.
Herzog's irreverent film features a cast that's comprised entirely of dwarfs.