It’s hard, if not impossible, to predict what director Werner Herzog will do or say next.
The German auteur might deliver a stunning documentary on a doomed nature lover (“Grizzly Man”) one moment. The next? He’s the heavy in a Tom Cruise action vehicle (“Jack Reacher”).
In between, he’s become one of the industry’s most prominent voices, even if not every new Herzog film is worthy his legacy.
The director opened up on a number of subjects April 12 at the Pratt Institute’s School of Art. And, according to IndieWire.com, President Donald Trump’s name came up.
To be fair, Trump is on the tip of the tongue for many these days, especially those expecting a star to slam the president as a dictator … or worse. “He’s a fascist!” is the typical response in celebrity circle.
Only Herzog’s response probably wasn’t what anyone in the building had in mind. Why? Perhaps it’s because he’s seen actual fascism up close, and America circa 2017 is nothing like that grim portrait.
“America is still a democracy and no matter whether you like or dislike the current government or president, America has an amazing ability to rejuvenate itself and to learn and move on. It’s a young country and I don’t see what you call fascism. I think it’s too far fetched … I have been in countries with real police states in Africa and some dictatorships in South America …When you are a filmmaker — if you are a filmmaker — you stand your ground and make the appropriate films … You are young. You can change it. You just better dig in your heels, but don’t get carried away as if the ship was sinking already. America is not the Titanic.”
You mean Trump isn’t as wicked as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, as George Takei recently suggested on Twitter?
This doesn’t mean the German director is a fan of Trump’s political maneuvering. He’s just reasonable enough to leave the hyperbolic comments on the sidelines … where they belong.