Burden of Dreams

And since nobody can pronounce
his name in the Amazon here...

he calls himself Fitzcarraldo, and he also
founds a town with the name Fitzcarraldo.

There was a historical figure whose
name was Carlos Fermín Fitzcarrald...

a caucho baron.
I must say the story of this caucho baron
did not interest me so much.

What interested me more
was one single detail.

That was, uh,
that he crossed an isthmus...

from one river system into another...
uh, with a boat.
They disassembled the boat and -
and put it together again on the other river.

And, uh, that intrigued me to write a story
about big opera in the jungle...

and, uh, about a man
who wants to bring Caruso...

into Iquitos and build
a huge opera house.

And he fails to -
to get the money for it...

and so finally he decides
to make his fortune as a rubber baron.

And, uh, he buys a territory
which is out of reach...

because there are
very, very strong rapids...

and you can't move a big boat
into the upper tributary.

Um, and for exploiting
an area like this...

you need a big boat
for all the logistics and transports and so.

And what he does, actually, is that
he moves in a - in a parallel tributary...

because he knows there
is one geographical point...

where the two river systems
almost join.

There's only
one or two miles in between.

And with the help of, uh,
1,100 savage Indians...

he moves the boat across the -
this mountain ridge.

But it all fails because
the Indians release the boat.

They untie it,
and it floats downstream...

and it crashes through the rapids
and everything was in vain.

And still,
with that defeat...

Fitzcarraldo is able to turn it
in some kind of a victory-

a very painful one, and...
that's basically the story of the film.