Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

Werner Herzog paints a picturesque portrait of Siberian fur trappers living in the heart of the Taiga. Herzog's philosophical narration -- enchanted by this outpost free from phones, taxes and all the trappings of modern life -- elevates Happy People above most nature docs.

Directors

Werner Herzog & Dmitry Vasyukov

Country

Germany

Year

2010

Running Time

96 mins

Watch the Film

www.musicboxfilms.com

   

SFGFF Film Program:


Happy PeopleContinuing his romance with extreme conditions and remote locations, Werner Herzog steps in to overhaul Russian director Dmitry Vasyukov's Happy People: A Year in the Taiga, condensing the four-hour, made-for-TV documentary portrait of Siberian fur trappers into a mesmerizing "Walden"-like ode to wilderness life. As in Grizzly Man, Herzog plays magpie with another filmmaker's footage, ruminating throughout on man's relationship to nature - only in this case, these self-reliant subjects possess no delusions about their surroundings (they know how to handle a bear attack).

Covering a year in the life of several Bakhta-based hunters, Happy People progresses methodically through the seasons. Scenes of everyday survival constitute most of the film, from pike fishing to building cabins and hand-crafting skis, with Herzog cherry-picking the program's most captivating moments (including nearly everything to do with the hunters' loyal dogs). Herzog's philosophical narration -- enchanted by this outpost free from phones, taxes and all the trappings of modern life -- elevates Happy People above most nature docs. ~ Peter Debruge, Variety

Screening: March 06, 2011 at Landmark Embarcadero. West Coast Premiere.

In celebration of UN International Year of Forests.

Discussion with: Nick Raslan, producer