This tragicomedy combines Herzog’s neorealist style with a subdued symbolism to create a story that is filled with a blind, quiet hope ultimately shattered by despair.
The film follows the titular character of Bruno Stroszek, played with impeccable lucidity by German actor and musician Bruno S., after he is released from prison. He pairs up with Eva (Eva Mattes), a sex worker who’s down on her luck, and an eccentric neighbour named Scheitz (Clemens Scheitz). The unlikely trio try to save up enough money to move from Germany to the United States.
Stroszek was made as a vessel for Bruno S. as Herzog wanted to pay him back after he was replaced in the lead role of Woyzeck (1979) by Klaus Kinski. Herzog wrote the film in four days, interweaving biographical elements from S.’s life into the script, and, in the process, created one of the most poignant films of his whole career.
– Jacob Agius, Melbourne Cinémathèque, committee member
29 Nov – 5 Dec 2021