Götz Dieter Plage

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Götz Dieter Plage (born May 14, 1936 in Beelitz ; † April 3, 1993 in Sumatra ) was a German nature filmmaker who enjoyed a high national and international reputation.


Plage gained international fame in 1972 when he and his colleagues Iain Douglas-Hamilton and Lee Lyon filmed a wild elephant in Manyara , Tanzania , and barely escaped when the elephant tried to run over them. In the following years he worked for well-known animal filmmakers such as Bernhard Grzimek , Heinz Sielmann and Alan Root . His recordings were mostly made under life-threatening circumstances, such as a film from the Congo, where he filmed gorilla babies in the area of ​​the Virunga volcanoes and was attacked by an angry gorilla man. Many of Plage's documentaries have been shown on the TV series Abenteuer Wildnis ( ARD ), Survival ( ITV Network ) and Built For The Kill ( National Geographic Channel ) and are award-winning. For almost 20 years, especially for Survival Anglia, he shot successful animal documentaries such as Gorilla (1974), Among the Elephants (1975), Orangutan Orphans of the Forest (1976), The Leopard That Changed Its Spots (1979) and Cold on the Equator ( 1988). His last completed film was The Secret World of Bats , which premiered in the US in 1992. In April 1993 an experiment over the canopy of leaves in Indonesia cost him his life. With a miniature airship prototype he flew over the jungle of Sumatra and wanted to film animals. While trying to recover a camera that was caught in the branches, he fell out of the airship and had a fatal accident. This tragic event is a central theme of the 2004 documentary The White Diamond by Werner Herzog , which Herzog filmed with Graham Dorrington in Guyana .

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