Klaus Günter Karl Nakszynski, born on October 18, 1926 / died November 23, 1991, was a German actor equally renowned for his intense performance style and notorious for his volatile personality. He appeared in over 130 film roles in a career that spanned 40 years from 1948 to 1988. Kinski played leading roles in five films directed by Werner Herzog (Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972), Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979); Woyzeck (1979); Fitzcarraldo (1982); Cobra Verde (1987). Herzog later chronicled their tumultuous relationship in the documentary My Best Fiend (1999).

During his lifetime, Kinski was a controversial and aggressive figure, prone to emotional and often-violent outbursts directed at his directors and fellow cast members, issues further complicated by a history of mental illness. Herzog described him as “one of the greatest actors of the century, but also a monster and a great pestilence”.

In Creation is Violent, Director Josh Johnson (Rewind This!, Woke Up Breathing) interviews those who loved and loathed Kinski to create a nuanced portrait of the notorious actor’s final years. Included in the film are Debora Caprioglio (Paprika), Darío Caamaño (Man Next Door), Luigi Cozzi (Hercules), Gabriele Bartels (Schade) and others.

Patrick Krause of Morbidly Beautiful called the documentary “A fascinating and disturbing look at Kinski’s narcissistic, destructive, and violent behavior and the effects it had on those who worked with him”.

Nathanial Thompson writing for Mondo Digital wrote “Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of separating the art from the artist, this is an astounding documentary”.

Brett Gallman of Oh, The Horror wrote of the film that it is “A testament to the complexity of human nature: it’s true that Klaus Kinski could be generous, affectionate, and loyal, but it’s also true that he was a monster with a deservedly tarnished legacy”.

Documentary / 2021 / 82 minutes / A film by Josh Johnson


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