The Wild Blue Yonder is a 2005 science fiction fantasy film by German director Werner Herzog.[1] It was presented at the 62nd Venice Film Festival, where it won the FIPRESCI Award.[2] It was screened in competition at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival and the Sitges Film Festival, winning the "Carnet Jove – Special Mention" award at the latter. Most of the film consists of recontextualized documentary footage which is overlaid with fictional (sometimes fantastical) narration. This technique was used in Herzog's earlier film Lessons of Darkness (1992).

The Wild Blue Yonder
Poster for the Italian version
Directed byWerner Herzog
Written byWerner Herzog
Produced byWerner Herzog Filmproduktion, Tetramedia, West Park Pictures
StarringBrad Dourif as the alien
Martin Lo
Roger Diehl
Ted Sweetser
Donald E. Williams
Ellen S. Baker
Franklin Chang-Diaz
Shannon Lucid
Michael J. McCulley
CinematographyHenry Kaiser
Tanja Koop
Klaus Scheurich
Edited byJoe Bini
Music byErnst Reijseger
Mola Sylla
Distributed byFandango (Italy)
Werner Herzog Filmproduktion
Release date
  • September 5, 2005 (2005-09-05) (Venice Film Festival)
Running time
81 minutes
CountriesUnited Kingdom

The film's name comes from the first line of the song "The U.S. Air Force". The scenes in space are courtesy of NASA. According to the DVD extras, the interview with the alien is filmed in Niland, CA, and nearby Slab City, CA.



The film is about an extraterrestrial (played by Brad Dourif) who came to Earth several decades ago from a water planet (The Wild Blue Yonder) after it experienced an ice age.[1] His narration reveals that his race has tried through the years to form a community on our planet, without any success.

The alien also tells the story of a space mission he found out about through his job with the CIA. In the late 1990s, debris from the Roswell UFO crash was unearthed and examined. Scientists incorrectly believed that they had contracted an infectious alien disease from the debris. An exploratory mission was launched to Blue Yonder (represented using archive footage from the STS-34 Space Shuttle mission and Henry Kaiser's diving expedition in Antarctica)[1][3] to explore the possibility of establishing a new, uninfected human colony on the planet. After finding Blue Yonder suitable for human habitation, the astronauts returned home 820 years later, only to discover that Earth had been abandoned in their absence.




  1. ^ a b c Schager, Nick (24 October 2006). "Review: The Wild Blue Yonder". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  2. ^ "62th [sic] Venice International Film Festival". Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  3. ^ Wils, Tyson (July 2013). "CTEQ Annotations on Film: The Wild Blue Yonder". Senses of Cinema. No. 67. Retrieved 13 June 2021.