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fitzcarraldo movie poster 1982When Fatih Sultan Mehmet surrounded Istanbul, Byzantine placed an iron chain at the enterance of Haliç (Golden Horn) to prevent Ottoman ships to sail in. The ships hitting the big chain and when they stop, they were under attack of Byzantine soldiers. They were probably using petrolium to set the ships on fire. I don’t have specific information about that. Then Mehmet decided to move the ships over the hills of Beyoğlu and launch them in Haliç. He ordered wooden tracks to be built and with help of buffalos and man power, he managed to launch some ships in Haliç. This helped him to get the city which was thought to be invincible.

Here we have a similar story from Amazon river on this German movie. Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, is a businessman with a passion of opera and he wants to build an opera in the middle of Peruvian jungle. He has to finance this project so he makes a plan on rubber business. But he has a challenge. He wants to reach a parallel water way and  he wants to operate his steam ship in there. So he hauls his ship over a hill to the other water way with the help of a tribe (he actually uses them…).

The movie is based on a true story. During the shooting in 1982, the steam ship is really moved over the hill. A local tribe worked with the crew and acted. The name of the boat is “Molly Aida” but could not find any data about the original boat, which is quite natural. But the scale model of the ship which was used in some scenes, is on display in a cinematic museum. Here is a trailer:

The movie is rated 8.1 on IMDB. Directed by Werner Herzog . Klaus Kinski acts as Fitzgerald.

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3 Responses

  1. Comments about the making of the movie say that the whereabouts of the lifesize vessel was unknown. I can confirm that I saw it partially submerged among trees during highwater outside Iquitos Peru in 1993. I should have some photos of it somewhere and can post it to you if are interested. Regards

  2. Duncan Cameron says:

    A similar ship is now a museum ship in Iquitos. It pays homage to Fitzcarrald the Irish rubber baron played by Klaus Kinski in the movie.

  3. Duncan Cameron says:

    See M.V. Ayapua moored in Iquitos. A rebuilt version of a Molly Aida type of ship. Alas no longer steam powered

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