Werner Herzog’s latest documentary, a tribute to writer Bruce Chatwin, will air in Britain on the BBC, which commissioned the film for its long-running documentary series “Arena,” the pubcaster announced Tuesday.
“Nomad – In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin” is scheduled to have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 28. In the U.K., the feature-length documentary will air on BBC Two later this year as part of the broadcaster’s “Arena” strand.
Written, directed and narrated by Herzog, “Nomad” explores the creative and personal vision he shared with his friend Chatwin, the travel writer and adventurer.
Shortly before his death in 1989, Chatwin summoned Herzog with a request to see his television documentary “Herdsmen of the Sun,” about tribesmen of the Sahara. In exchange, Chatwin gave the German filmmaker the rucksack he had carried with him on his travels around the world. Thirty years later, “Nomad” sees Herzog pay tribute to Chatwin as he takes the rucksack on his own epic journey, inspired by his and Chatwin’s shared passion for the nomadic life.
“Bruce Chatwin was a writer like no other,” Herzog said. “He crafted mythical tales into voyages of the mind. We were kindred spirits – he as a writer, I as a filmmaker. I wanted to make a film that is not a traditional biography but a series of encounters inspired by Bruce’s travels and ideas.”
During his journey, which takes in stops including Patagonia, the Black Mountains of Wales and the Australian Outback, Herzog discovers stories of dinosaurs, lost tribes, Aboriginal traditions, wanderers and dreamers.
Patrick Holland, controller of BBC Two, said: “Werner Herzog is one of the world’s greatest filmmakers, and commissioning this film about Bruce Chatwin for the BBC was one of the easier decisions we have had to make. Chatwin was an extraordinary figure, whose work has changed travel writing; this film is an intimate encounter with his legacy.”
It was commissioned for BBC Two and “Arena” by Mark Bell. Richard Bright served as executive producer for BBC Studios.
Sideways Film holds the world rights to “Nomad,” which the company’s managing director, Kazz Basma, said “unites two global icons in a cinematic masterpiece. It’s long been a dream to work with Werner Herzog.”