Wings of Hope (film)

Wings of Hope (German: Julianes Sturz in den Dschungel, literally "Juliane's Freefall into the Jungle") is a 1998[1] made-for-TV documentary directed by Werner Herzog. The film explores the story of Juliane Koepcke, a German Peruvian woman who was the sole survivor of Peruvian flight LANSA Flight 508 following its mid-air disintegration after a lightning strike in 1971. Herzog was inspired to make this film since he had narrowly avoided taking the same flight while he was location scouting for Aguirre, Wrath of God; his reservation had been canceled due to a last minute change in itinerary.[2]

Wings of Hope
Wings of hope.jpg
Juliane Koepcke sitting on a row of seats in the jungle
Directed byWerner Herzog
Produced byLucki Stipetic
StarringJuliane Koepcke
Werner Herzog
Narrated byWerner Herzog
CinematographyPeter Zeitlinger
Edited byJoe Bini
Release date
  • 1998 (1998)
Running time
49 minutes
English (official dub)

In the film, Herzog and Koepcke visit the scenes of her flight, crash, and escape from the jungle. They take a flight from Lima to Pucallpa (though with a different airline), and sit in the same row of seats where Koepcke sat during the crash. They unearth many large fragments of the plane in the jungle, and then visit the river routes where she traveled for 10 days on foot, and the small village where she was eventually found by three men, one of whom appears in the film.

Wings of Hope is often seen as a companion piece[3][4] or sequel[2] to Herzog's 1997 film Little Dieter Needs to Fly, in which he retraces the steps of a U.S. Navy pilot's successful escape from a POW camp during the Vietnam War.


Herzog had planned to make the film ever since narrowly missing the flight, but was unable to contact Koepcke for many years since she shied away from any media coverage. Herzog finally located her in Munich after contacting the priest who performed the funeral for Koepcke's mother.[2] Koepcke's dreams, as described in the film and shot in documentary style, were invented and scripted by Herzog.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Brad Prager (2012). A Companion to Werner Herzog. John Wiley & Sons. p. 553. ISBN 9781444361407. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Herzog, Werner (2001). Herzog on Herzog. Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-20708-1.
  3. ^ Wings of Hope
  4. ^ Werner Herzog

External linksEdit