The Enigma Of Kaspar Hauser review

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A bewildered alien whose origins are a mystery and whose protectors must save him from exploitation by nastier human beings. It's the blueprint for movies from ET to The Man Who Fell To Earth, but its roots lie in a true story from the 19th century.

It was 1828 whenan adult stranger wandered into Nuremburg, barely able to walk and unable to speak. As the townsfolk introduce him to "civilised manners", it emerges that from childhood he was kept in a cellar and starved of human contact. But while some show him pity, others are suspicious, believing he could be a spy.

Herzog's version of the Kaspar Hauser story is distinguished by the casting of Bruno S, a street performer with a history of mental illness, in the lead role. As naturally enigmatic and vulnerable as his character, his quirky outsider presence holds up a mirror to the faults of polite society.


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