The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.


Stroszek 1977


This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


Stroszek 1977 15

115 mins Federal Republic of Germany Director. Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog’s second film with lead actor Bruno S. (following The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser) was written specifically as a vehicle for the unusual performer’s rough-edged naivety. Having reneged on a promise to cast Bruno in the film Woyzeck (for which he was replaced by Klaus Kinski), Herzog wrote Stroszek in just four days, taking aspects of the mysterious actor’s biography for inspiration.

The film follows the fortunes street performer Bruno Stroszek as he leaves Berlin for an adventurous journey to America. But once there he finds it barely the land of opportunity, and has to eke out a meagre existence on the barren trailer parks of Wisconsin.

Herzog’s first film in America portrays the territory with the same alien, barren inhabitability as his films in the Amazon and Sahara. Taking inspiration from contemporaneous documentary filmmakers Les Blank and Errol Morris, Herzog also presents an unflinching portrait of rural American deprivation, which would in turn inspire the works of later filmmakers Harmony Korine and David Gordon Greene.

Stroszek obtained further cult notoriety for supposedly being the film Ian Curtis, singer of Joy Division, watched before committing suicide in 1980, a not entirely verifiable fact depicted in the films 24 Hour Party People (2002) and Control (2007).

Directed by

Werner Herzog


Eva Mattes

Bruno S.




Werner Herzog


15 Contains infrequent strong language and moderate violence




Federal Republic of Germany



Read lessRead more

Explore further

View Into the Abyss A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life
Into the Abyss  A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life
Watch from £2.98

Into the Abyss A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life 2011 12

Werner Herzog’s documentary about an unrepentant young murderer on death row is a cool, compassionate study of the dark side of the human condition

107 mins USA

View The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser 1974 PG

Werner Herzog’s poetic account of the historical character who captivated 19th-century Nuremberg after emerging from isolation after 16 years in a cellar.

100 mins Federal Republic of Germany Director. Werner Herzog

View Woyzeck

Woyzeck 1979 15

Werner Herzog’s adaptation of Georg Büchner’s play about a tormented soldier, filmed mere days after the completion of Nosferatu the Vampyre.

81 mins Federal Republic of Germany Director. Werner Herzog


View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts

Never ask | Ask me later