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Werner Herzog Bruxelles 02 cropped

Werner Herzog in 2007.

Game in the Sand is an unreleased, documentary short film that was created in 1964 by German director Werner Herzog. The 14 minute black-and-white short was his second directorial effort, and is said to involve 4 children, and a rooster in a cardboard box. The rooster is, at one point, buried up to its neck in sand. No other details of the plot have been released.

Werner Herzog has stated that the during the shoot things "got out of hand", causing him to abandon the project (he did, however, finish the film), although he has never elaborated on the circumstances. It is assumed (but not confirmed) by many that the rooster was killed. He has likened the shoot to that of his 1970 film Even Dwarfs Started Small, in which an actor was accidentally set on fire and run over by a truck (although he was miraculously uninjured), piglets were seen suckling their dead mother, and chickens were seen engaging in cannibalism. Despite these controversial on-set incidents, Even Dwarfs was released on schedule. Whatever "got out of hand" during the shooting of Game in the Sand would, assumingly, have had to be worse than any of the controversial incidents that took place during the shooting of Even Dwarfs to warrant it being totally abandoned and barred from release.

Not much more is known about the development of the film besides the facts that Uwe Brandner did the music, and Jaime Pacheco did the cinematography. Game in the Sand has never been publicly shown or released in any form. Herzog has said himself that only 3 or 4 people have ever seen it, and that he will never release it in his lifetime; he has even suggested that he may destroy the negative before he dies.

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