The director Werner Herzog tells the story of a man with a burning obsession, a person who defies all obstacles and carries out the impossible. The Irish adventurer Fitzgerald travels to Peru in the late 19th century to try to get into the rubber-business. Fitzcarraldo, as he is called by the natives, is instead obsessed with bringing the European culture to the Amazon jungle, by building an opera house. His plan is to raise money for the project by exploiting a large and inaccessible area of rubber trees. He travels to the area in a steamboat, and is so determined to carry out his dream that not even a mountain that blocks the road stops him. Along with a native tribe, Fitzcarraldo literally drags the boat over the mountain.