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Werner Herzog Directs Cheery New Documentary Series 'Hate In America'

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by Drew Taylor
August 29, 2012 11:15 AM
7 Comments
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In the last few years, filmmaker Werner Herzog's documentary output has garnered more critical acclaim and commercial attention than his narrative efforts. Just last year, "Cave of Forgotten Dreams," Herzog's nearly catatonic 3D movie about ancient cave paintings, was a critics' darling and became the highest-grossing documentary of 2011, earning nearly $4 million at the domestic box office despite offering almost no entertainment or information value whatsoever. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Herzog will be returning to the documentary field with two new limited series – "On Death Row," a three-part follow-up to his "Death Row" series of interviews with convicted felons awaiting execution, and "Hate in America," an all-new four-part look at hate crime in America. You might want to make sure your prescriptions for antidepressants are filled before watching either.

According to the report ZDF Enterprises, the international distribution arm of a German public broadcasting company called ZDF, has picked up the world sales rights and will be looking for buyers for the two new series. The material sounds like the kind of gutsy property that HBO just eats up, but they are both missing sexy vampires or clashing warlords, so who knows.

The "On Death Row" docs actually already premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year (read our review here), and unspooled on Investigation Discovery in the spring, so these aren't "new" per se, except to the worldwide audiences ZDF will be hoping to sell it too. Meanwhile, his "Hate in America" series will give deep portraits of Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, the Unabomber and wily beard spokesperson Ted Kaczynski, and "a suburban housewife turned killer of Mexicans" (what!?!). As part of the series, Herzog will also visit Harrison, Arkansas, dubbed America's "hate central," which probably isn't printed on travel brochures for the town.

Investigation Discovery will also air "Hate In America" with a world premiere date set for March 2013. Herzog, who just realized John Waters was gay after knowing him for 35 years, can next be seen in an acting capacity as the heavy in the Tom Cruise vehicle "Jack Reacher," adapted from the popular and brilliant Lee Child novels, which opens on December 21st.

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7 Comments

  • Perucho | September 22, 2012 8:56 AMReply

    Just looking around the site and came across this post. It is good to know Herzog is coming out with a new documentary series. It is also good to know that apparently Drew Taylor must be a fan of Michael Bay, as Werner Herzog's movies are just too slow for him.

  • Pike | August 29, 2012 3:46 PMReply

    This is the worst so-called news entry I ever read on this site. And that is saying a lot. Seriously, just report the news and don't try to be funny, this article reads like a Cracked.com reject.

  • Fred | August 29, 2012 3:36 PMReply

    Don't you all know that here they take film news and offer their own impassioned/introspective/snarky take on it (depending on day/subject/mood) and if you want straight news you're supposed to consult Variety or Hollywood Reporter?

  • Shoe eater | August 29, 2012 1:47 PMReply

    That was indeed a woeful comment, it reflects badly on the whole site.

  • Duddi | August 29, 2012 1:10 PMReply

    "...offering almost no entertainment or information value whatsoever." ... Come on this is an indecent,unfounded and low phrase ... a big thumb down goes to Drew Taylor - ho wrote this article . :-)

  • [A] | August 29, 2012 12:53 PMReply

    Guys, seriously: stop trying to be funny. You are not. Limit yourself to report movie news. Thank you.

  • MAL | August 29, 2012 11:46 AMReply

    "...offering almost no entertainment or information value whatsoever."
    What a remarkably ignorant statement to be found within what is ostensibly a news story. Has no one taught you that when making definitive and/or extreme statements without defensible reasoning in an opinion piece loses you all credibility as an information resource? When this type of positioning appears in a news story, it is merely immature and amateur.
    I am a big fan of The Playlist and its usual high level of discussion, but this type of commentary is truly appalling.

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