"Eleven years of drought, the rocks are sick, the world is dying, evil is a trick."
- Text from the introduction
Filmed in Ghana, Brazil, and Colombia, COBRA VERDE is a visually astonishing 19th-century true-life tale about a Brazilian bandit known as Cobra Verde (played by the ever-intense Klaus Kinski) who is exiled to West Africa to rejuvenate the slave trade. Once he's in Africa, his sanity is put to the ultimate test, as he is an unwanted outsider in a foreign, uncultivated world. Holed up in a deserted slave fortress on the coast, Cobra Verde, like many Herzog/Kinski creations before him, goes about constructing an elaborate and unlikely scheme--in this case to build up a vast slave trade ruled under his iron fist. His plans fall apart, however, when the civil wars waged by the insane Leopard King come crashing down on Cobra Verde and his plans. When the bandit is rescued by the king's equally crazy brother, Cobra Verde gathers a vast army of Amazon women warriors and plans to regain his dominance. The exquisitely photographed dusty and alien landscape of the African coast is juxtaposed evocatively with the ridiculous behavior of the slave traders as represented by Cobra Verde. Herzog crafts a deft and powerful vision of human folly and the eventual tragedy that follows, chronicling Cobra Verde's descent into total madness and self-destruction.
Shot in Africa and South America, COBRA VERDE is the intriguing story of a deranged bandit (Klaus Kinski) who is exiled to West Africa to rejuvenate the slave trade.
Based On A Novel |
COBRA VERDE is based on the novel THE VICEROY OF OUIDAH by Bruce Chatwin.
The film was the final collaboration between Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski (who would die four years later).