Saturday, 3 December 2011

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010)

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
Reviewer: Wally
Director: Steve James
Released: 28th November 2011 (DVD)
Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga tells the story of the village of Bakhtia, on the river Yenisei, in the Siberian Taiga.  It mainly centres on a year in the life of one hunter (trapper) and how he manages to survive and bring in money throughout the year for his family.

Directed by Dmitry Vasyukov and written by Werner Herzog and son Rudolph Herzog, this is a straightforward documentary, but so effectively shows the lives of these simple people.  The style of film making and subjects being filmed go hand in hand and is great at showing us the lives of these truly stoic people.

The narration starts in spring and takes the viewer on a journey through all of the seasons and how the trappers have adapted to each time of year.  We follow one trapper, who is leaving the village, of around 300 inhabitants, to head into the wilderness to set up traps and base camps for the following winter.  He takes all his equipment with him and what he doesn’t have to hand, he will have to make over the coming months.  The only company he has is his hunting dog, which helps with catching some of the smaller animals and I’m sure is also there to stop the hunters from going insane on their own.

To read the rest of the review, please head over to Flick Feast, by clicking here...