In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin – BBC2

Director Werner Herzog honours the spirit of his old friend in In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin, a documentary about the writer and traveller

Werner Herzog, director of cult films like Fitzcarraldo, Nosferatu the Vampyre and Grizzly Man,  travels to some of the world’s remotest countries visiting some of the special places that mattered to his friend, the writer and adventurer Bruce Chatwin.

The author of On the Black Hill, Utz and The Songlines first made his name in the 1970s and went on to become best known as a travel writer, though he always considered himself first and foremost to be a storyteller.

Having based his film Cobra Verde on Bruce’s 1980 novel The Viceroy of Ouidah, Werner Herzog and Bruce Chatwin became friends.

Werner Herzog with Bruce Chatwin's rucksack

Werner Herzog with Bruce Chatwin’s rucksack

When Bruce was dying of AIDS back in 1989, he gave Werner the trusty  rucksack that he’d carried on his travels as a parting gift.

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Now, 30 years on, carrying the battered rucksack, Werner retraces Bruce’s travels to Australia, Patagonia and the Black Mountains of Wales, the place that first inspired Bruce.

Along the way, Werner hears stories of lost tribes and Aboriginal traditions, and explores Bruce’s passion for the nomadic way of life.

TV Times rating: ****

Main picture: Getty