The renowned German director behind a new film about the creative and destructive power of meteors says he isn’t losing sleep over the idea of space debris barrelling into Earth anytime soon.

“We should not plan and think and prepare ourselves for a big impact. Let’s just live life in its fullest,” Werner Herzog told The Current’s Matt Galloway.

Herzog’s latest film, Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds, takes viewers around the world as he and co-director and British scientist Clive Oppenheimer explore the connection meteors have to science, history and mythology.

Fireball, which is the pair’s third film together, premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday.

Oppenheimer said what is so intriguing about meteors is that they speak to our curiosity about the universe, and the creation and destruction of life.

“They speak to our destiny. Will another big impact in the future … cause another mass extinction?” 

“It’s this human fascination, as we’ve said, through time, for meteorites, for shooting stars. They’ve had meaning.” 

In the 19th century, Oppenheimer explained, there was talk about panspermia — the idea that organisms or seeds of life are distributed through meteorites.

“At the same time … an apocalyptic mood grew from the recognition that large rocks could fall from space.”

More recently, he said, a protein was discovered in a meteorite that fell to Earth from space, and serious research continues into how this may have sparked life — or whether it means life exists elsewhere in the universe.

Fireball introduces viewers to people from the Torres Strait Islands, off the northern tip of Australia, who believe the souls of the departed ride on meteorites into the netherworld, he said.

And in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the Black Stone — believed to be a meteorite — holds great significance in Islam. Stories say it came from heaven and was given to Adam to place in the first Kaaba, however, it is not allowed to be studied scientifically for religious regions, Herzog said.

“It’s a very fascinating sort of bouquet of events and mythologies and historical shifts that we have received and witness through meteorites.”

Fireball isn’t the first film to explore our sense of fear and wonder with meteors. Hollywood has tried to glamorize and create panic around meteors with movies like 1998’s Deep Impact.

But what science and filmmaking share is a sense of awe and discovery, said Herzog — a feeling the directors captured in real time for Fireball when Oppenheimer discovered two meteorites for himself during filming in Antarctica.

“When you find a stone out there, it’s a meteorite. It’s not anywhere near where rocks are being eroded from the Earth’s crust …. You go out there and you find a stone and you know it’s come from space,” Oppenheimer said of his “extraordinary” finding.

“You’re touching the oldest relics from our solar system — more than four and a half billion years old. It’s the oldest thing I’ve ever touched …. It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe.”

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada’s online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.


Werner Herzog

World news – CA – Werner Herzog on Fireball, his new film about the awe-inspiring power of meteors | CBC Radio

En s’appuyant sur ses expertises dans les domaines du digital, des technologies et des process , CSS Engineering vous accompagne dans vos chantiers de transformation les plus ambitieux et vous aide à faire émerger de nouvelles idées, de nouvelles offres, de nouveaux modes de collaboration, de nouvelles manières de produire et de vendre.

CSS Engineering s’implique dans les projets de chaque client comme si c’était les siens. Nous croyons qu’une société de conseil devrait être plus que d’un conseiller. Nous nous mettons à la place de nos clients, pour aligner nos incitations à leurs objectifs, et collaborer pour débloquer le plein potentiel de leur entreprise. Cela établit des relations profondes et agréables.

Nos services:

  1. Création des sites web professionnels
  2. Hébergement web haute performance et illimité
  3. Vente et installation des caméras de vidéo surveillance
  4. Vente et installation des système de sécurité et d’alarme
  5. E-Marketing

Toutes nos réalisations ici


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here