Game in the Sand (lost Werner Herzog short film; 1964)

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Werner herzog.jpg

A young Werner Herzog on the set of his 1970 film Even Dwarfs Started Small.

Status: Lost


In 1964, a 14 minute black-and-white short film titled Game in the Sand (aka Spiel im Sand) was produced by renowned German director Werner Herzog.[1] However, the short was never released due to its apparently graphic nature. While Herzog has never come clean in terms of exactly what happened during the shooting of the short, it is said to be a documentary of sorts involving four children and a rooster, the latter of which is said to have been buried up to its neck in sand at one point.

Herzog has stated that only three or four people have ever seen it and that he has contemplated destroying the negative before he dies, due to the shoot "moving out of control".[2] Herzog, who is not unfamiliar with violent or otherwise controversial on-set incidents (during the shooting of his 1970 comedy/drama effort Even Dwarfs Started Small, for example, an actor was accidentally set alight and run over by a truck, though miraculously, was not fatally injured), has never directly stated how the situation culminated, though based on his body of work, it is largely assumed that whatever happened to the rooster beyond its burial was either extremely graphic/disturbing or said event somehow crossed a line for him.

Very little additional info on the short has surfaced with the exception of the music and cinematography credits, belonging to Jaime Pacheco and Uwe Brandner, respectively.

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