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Through the Green Hell

A breathtaking production by Werner Herzog.

On Christmas Eve 1971 17-year-old Juliane Koepcke and her mother catch a plane from Lima, Peru to Pucallpa, a jungle settlement where her father - a German biologist - runs a small ecological research station. Forty minutes into the flight the plane is hit by lightning and breaks up in mid air. Juliane, still in her seat, is conscious as she falls to the ground. Then she blacks out, waking up in the mud with three seats strapped to her back like a snail`s shell. She has minor injuries... but she is alive.

She can find no trace of the plane or other survivors. Juliane realises nobody will ever find her here, so she does what survivors of a plane crash should never attempt and sets off on foot by herself. This saves her life. She knows the jungle well, from her father`s work, and she knows she has to find a river and follow it; the jungle is uninhabited, and people only settle near large waterways.

On her trek she is plagued by mosquitoes, but the greatest danger facing her, she knows, is the poisonous stingrays that bury themselves in the mud beside rivers. Jaguars, snakes, crocodiles and the other elements of jungle life that scare city-dwellers are no real problem - they run away from human beings. Even piranhas are not a genuine danger; they only gather together in stagnant water.

After eleven days, in a state of near delirium and total exhaustion, she is found by three hunters who take her in their boat to the nearest village. And thus Juliane survives to tell her tale, an amazing story of determination, resourceful courage - and sheer luck.

Further programs by Werner Herzog in our catalogue:

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