What may be admirable in an exposé like My Best Fiend is that it shows the undertakings to be as dangerous as they were Herculean. In fact, the film improbably risks identification with Kinski over Herzog.
The film ends with a shot of Kinski delicately playing with a butterfly that crawls over his fingers and flits about his face. The first time watching this movie, this scene clashes with the portrait of the actor as a wild man, but gradually one comes to see it not as a contrast to Kinski’s volatility but a more complete rendering of it. It’s a fittingly irresolute coda from a man still grappling how he could have spent so much of his life around such a person, and why he still misses him.