Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds Parent Guide
This stellar documentary by Werner Herzog is more than just a lecture about space; it's an exploration of human curiosity and culture.
Parent Movie Review
From veteran filmmaker Werner Herzog and volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer comes this documentary about meteorites. Starting with the Kabah, the black rock at the heart of the Muslim city of Mecca and travelling the globe to explore what these lights in the sky have meant to us, Herzog and Oppenheimer meet experts, scientists, cultural historians, and locals, all of whom bring something new to the discussion. Are these merely flying stones, or portents of heavenly wisdom? What have they meant for human history, and how could they affect our future on this planet?
Documentaries have a tendency to feel a touch impersonal, but Werner Herzog has always made surprisingly human pictures. This is certainly no exception. Although Fireball could easily have been a simply hour and a half long lecture about space rocks, Herzog turns it into an exploration and celebration of human curiosity and culture, with the ejecta of the meteorites having as much impact on the geology as the people who live nearby.
Parents and teachers should be relieved to hear that there is absolutely nothing to be concerned with in this documentary. Not only is there an absence of problematic content, there is a surplus of thought-provoking, educational, and fascinating information for viewers to sift through – all of which is presented in a clear and interesting manner. Although very young children might lose interest, the documentary is completely suitable for older kids and teens.
From the bustle of Mecca to the cold desolation of Antarctica, and even to “a beach resort so godforsaken you want to cry” in Mexico, Herzog and Oppenheimer do a wonderful job explaining not just what a meteor is and what it says about space, but what it means to human beings. Add to that the breathtaking cinematography, and you have a recipe for one of the best documentaries I’ve seen this year, one about the things that bring us all together – and that’s something we all need right now. And hey, who knows, you might even learn something new.Directed by Werner Herzog. Starring Werner Herzog, Jan Braly Kihle, and Jon Larsen. Running time: 97 minutes. Theatrical release November 13, 2020. Updated November 13, 2020
Watch the trailer for Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds
Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds
Rating & Content Info
Why is Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds rated Not Rated? Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Sexual Content: None.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated November 13, 2020
Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds Parents' Guide
What are the differences between comets, asteroids, and meteors? Have any fallen near where you live? What kind of information is available about them? Are there any cultural traditions associated with shooting stars where you live? Do you have any personal beliefs about them? What are some significant historical meteors that aren’t mentioned in the documentary?
NASA: Meteors & Meteorites
National Geographic: Meteor showers, explained
The Conversation: How ancient cultures explained comets and meteors
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Youngsters who are interested in meteors have some options to choose from. National Geographic Kids has released Meteors written by Melissa Stwart. Maya Lee Shye has written Space! Outer Space Exploration Picture Book, a kids’ reference book that includes material about asteroids and meteors. Preschoolers can learn abut space in Dr. Dhoot’s The Solar System for Kids.
Adults looking for more information on this fascinating topic can read Robert Hutchison’s Meteorite, which provides encyclopedic information and is a solid reference work. If you’re looking for more information on the relationship of meteorites and human culture, you will want to check out Maria Golia’s Meteorite: Nature and Culture.
Related home video titles:
Kids enthusiastic about space should enjoy Apollo 11, which uses restored original footage and voice recordings to tell the story of the first men to land on the moon. Other stories about the American space program can be found in First Man, Apollo 13, and Hidden Figures.
Werner Herzog has made many documentaries, most recently Meeting Gorbachev about former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev.