“The film contains sequences of horrifying sublimity and ethereal beauty, moments that have a clarity and power beyond the reach of reason.” - New York Times
When Francisco Manoel de Silva (Klaus Kinski) impregnates the three daughters of his plantation-owning employer, he is sent to West Africa to round up slaves. The irate land baron hopes the cynical and libidinous Francisco will meet certain death in the African jungles at the hands of hostile natives. Francisco instead manages to overthrow a mad monarch and set himself up as king. Despite enslaving the tribe, he shockingly shows signs of humanitarian benevolence.
The character portrayed by Kinski in this feature is a cross between his insane portrayal in AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD and his comic madness in FITZCARRALDO. This was the fifth and final collaboration between director Herzog and Kinski, and is the perfect crescendo of their shared artistic hysteria.