Into The Inferno

500 Days Of Film Reviews Documentary, Into The Inferno, From Legendary Director, Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog teams up with one of the world’s leading volcanologists, Clive Oppenheimer, to tell the fascinating story behind man's relationship with 


Is It Any Good?

Werner Herzog’s entertaining and visually stunning film explores the meaning, magnificence and mythical power of volcanoes. The legendary director takes us on an incredible and far reaching journey, starting with an insight into the world of

volcanologist, Clive Oppenheimer.


Oppenheimer conducts interviews with various volcano experts (even turning the camera on Herzog in one wonderful scene) and is an invaluable presence. He is, of course, vastly experienced in these matters.


However, Oppenheimer is also able to ask intriguing (and deeply respectful) questions and then interpret the answers in such a way so as to make the information accessible to all audiences.



Volcanologists are not alone, of course, in their passion (and reverence) for volcanoes. In addition to the science, Into The Inferno is also interested in the mystical aspects of volcanoes.


Herzog and Oppenheimer travel thousands of miles to remote volcanic islands in order to discover what volcanoes mean to the people living there. We see how these tribes incorporate volcanoes into their myths and legends and also how they attempt to appease the fury within.


Volcanoes also play a significant role in the history and beliefs of North Korea. As a result of the relationship between UK volcanologists and those from North Korea, Herzog was given permission to film in this notoriously private country. The director, working within strict propaganda-serving rules, gives us a fascinating insight into North Korean life.



While Into The Inferno is wonderfully cinematic, I was actually pleased to watch it via Netflix. This enabled me to go back and watch Herzog’s stunning scenes of volcanic activity again and again. The footage, and accompanying score, is so incredibly beautiful. The power and fury quite something to behold.


Of course, this wouldn’t be a Werner Herzog documentary without the director’s iconic narration. I just love listening to his voice - his fascination with volcanoes is infectious. “It is hard to take your eyes off the fire that burns deep under our feet,” he muses. 


I certainly couldn’t take my eyes off Into The Inferno.


Random Observations

Clive Oppenheimer and Werner Herzog first met when the director was filming his 2007 documentary, Encounters At The End Of The World


I love all of Werner Herzog’s films and particularly his documentary features. If you enjoyed Into The Inferno, I would recommend Herzog’s Grizzly Man and Cave Of Forgotten Dreams.


Have you seen Into The Inferno?


If you have, what did you think of this documentary? Let me know by leaving me a comment in the box below!

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Jane Douglas-Jones
Jane Douglas-Jones



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