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The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner (1975), Dir. Werner Herzog

This short clip shows one of the most poignant moments of an excellent documentary. Herzog takes us into the fascinating world of ‘ski flying’, as he follows Swiss ski jumper Walter Steiner during a competition in Planica. Steiner outjumps his fellow athletes by such great distances, that his own life is increasingly at risk. Pressured by competition judges and spectators to set a new world record, he negotiates the dangers of pushing the human body beyond its limits. It also includes a soundtrack from frequent Herzog collaborators, Popol Vuh.

The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner is currently playing on the BFI Player.

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