“Max ist brav.”

Nobody Wants to Play with Me is a short film about a little boy who is abused at home and humiliated at school by his classmates. The lack of care he is given at home causes his isolation. The whispers of the other children are viscerally disquieting. “He lives in an old house, we can’t play with him, he stinks. He eats only popcorn.” The aesthetic and manner of the film is such that you never wonder whether it is a documentary or fiction, although it is obviously a bit of both. There is something amazing about Herzog’s ability to not be bound by form or plot. Often the stories of his films are incredible, but he isn’t obligated to them. He is able to use these stories as reasons to create iconic images – my current definition of iconic is an image that stays in my mind for long after the film is through, and to behold it for the first time feels like being branded with a hot poker. It’s almost a physical sensation, to know immediately that what you’re seeing is absolutely true… and yet he’s not an absolutist, he isn’t really anything but himself. And his truths, as we know, are not limited by their literate definitions. Nobody Wants to Play with Me has one such iconic image… the main character, having made one single friend in school, decides to give her Max, his pet crow – the camera tracks with him as he walks determinedly through the snow in his thin red coat from his house to hers, carrying the cage as Max repeats, “Max is good,” and “Goal!”


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