Chariots of the Gods (1970)

aka Erinnerungen an die Zukunft
Article 3369 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-22-2010
Posting Date: 11-4-2010
Directed by Harald Reinl
Featuring the voices of Heinz-Detlev Bock, Klaus Kindler, Christian Marschall
Country: West Germany
What it is: Ancient astronaut speculative documentary

We travel the world looking for evidence that astronauts visited our planet in ancient times.

Near the end of the movie, the narrator says “We may doubt our conclusions…”, which is a rather odd statement coming from him, as he seems absolutely convinced of his conclusions throughout the rest of the movie. Well, whether you accept or reject the premise, at the very least the movie can be enjoyed as an exotic travelogue of an assortment of truly mysterious wonders of the world. It does get tiresome at times, so you’re grateful for some of the digressions. I do have favorite moments; one of the early scenes deals with a primitive tribe which, after having been visited by men in an airplane, have now built a fetish of the airplane and wait longingly for its return with the gods within. This scene has a certain power until you realize that one of these gods is probably standing nearby with a camera filming all this, and the feeling that it’s all been posed starts to manifest itself. I also like the story of the archaeologist who discovered the ruins of Troy; though I’ve heard the tale several times, it always makes for an engaging story. The evidence is usually one of three different types; we hear of an ancient story which may be interpreted as a visit by extraterrestrials, we see strange looking characters in ancient works of art that may be astronauts, or we see architectural wonders that appear to be impossible for the men of their time to build without the help of extraterrestrials. The earlier two approaches get old quickly, but the architectural wonders hold the interest. Overall, this is a fairly decent example of this type of movie.

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