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It's a good bet there are no directors who float between feature and documentary filmmaking as smoothly as Werner Herzog. The White Diamond (2004) is a companion piece of sorts to his well-received Grizzly Man. Both are about eccentric dreamers who travel to harsh landscapes following their dream with tragic consequences. In other words, perfect "Herzogian" fodder. Two important differences: White Diamond is filmed in the standard way (not piecing together another's videotape) and the tragedy occurred years before cameras rolled. Dr. Graham Dorrington is a man driven to fly. The Cambridge scientist creates new types of airships to explore the canopy of tropical rain forests. Herzog and his crew follow Dorrington to Guyana to see if this new-age dirigible can bring us closer to this fragile and important ecosystem. The film is less about what those discoveries might mean and more a portrait of a man. This is not Dorrington's first attempt to go to the jungle. A haunting accident a decade earlier in the forests of Borneo nags at him and Herzog prods Dorrington's recollections. The 90-minute film has some very rich side trips well worth taking: a legend of the gigantic Kaieteur Falls, the diamond mines of the area, and getting to know one of the hired porters. Herzog injects his own thoughts and gets into the action (he's on the initial flight, much to the chagrin of some of the team members) while delivering a satisfying, gorgeously shot film.

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FLV5469 White Diamond DVD (2005/Werner Herzog) $19.98 $17.99