Little Dieter Needs to Fly

Monday, June 20, 2022

At 12:00pm ET on Thu Jun 9, tickets will be on sale for members only! General admission tickets will go on sale at 12:00pm ET on Fri Jun 10. Tickets are $20 for members, $25 general admission.

Extended introduction from director Werner Herzog at 7:15pm show + A book signing of Herzog’s new book The Twilight World, his first novel, following the screening!

Growing up in desolated post-WW II Germany, Dieter Dengler — the son of a Nazi slain during the war — dreamed about was becoming a pilot. At age 18, he left his country with only a few cents to his name and emigrated to the U.S. Landing in San Francisco, he worked odd jobs until he was accepted into the Navy and began pilot training. He was sent to Vietnam around 1966 and on his first mission was shot down and taken prisoner. There, the Vietcong tortured and starved him until Dengler engineered a hair-raising escape and eventually returned to the U.S. where his heroic life story was forgotten… until now.

Blurring the lines between fact and fiction, this documentary from Werner Herzog is divided into four chapters, each representing a period from Dengler’s life; the story is recounted via interviews with the Navy pilot, archival footage and new footage seamlessly spliced together.

Restoration courtesy of Shout! Factory and the American Genre Film Archive.

In Dieter Dengler, Herzog may well have found the individual and story that most reflects his own on a spiritual level.” – Sonic Cinema

Signing is open to ticketholders for the 7:15pm June 20 show. Copies of The Twilight World are limited, so pre-order yours when you buy your ticket! Merchandise purchased online before Monday, June 20 will be available for pickup at IFC Center on the day of the signing.

  • Country Germany
  • Language In German with English subtitles
  • Year 1977
  • Running Time 80 minutes
  • Distributor AGFA
  • Director Werner Herzog
  • Accessibility Assistive Listening, T-Coil

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and as well as through general internet searches.