Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997)
The story of Dieter Dengler is an inherently compelling one: he emigrated from Germany to the United States after World War II, where he pursued his goal of becoming a pilot. In 1966, he crashed in Laos and was taken prisoner; he subsequently escaped, undergoing a horrific series of events as he sought to make his way out of danger. In this documentary, Herzog blends Dengler's recollections of his experience with staged re-creations of his time in captivity; the result gives a full and rich sense of a defining moment in one person's life. Herzog would later revisit Dengler's life in his 2007 film Rescue Dawn, in which he was played by Christian Bale.