With Happy People: A Year in the Taiga, Werner Herzog takes viewers on yet another unforgettable journey into remote and extreme natural landscapes. The acclaimed filmmaker presents this visually stunning documentary about the life of indigenous people living in the heart of the Siberian Taiga. Deep in the wilderness, far away from civilization, 300 people inhabit the small village of Bakhtia at the river Yenisei. There are only two ways to reach this outpost: by helicopter or boat. There‘s no telephone, running water or medical aid, The locals, whose daily routines have barely changed over the last centuries, live according to their own values and cultural traditions. With insightful commentary written and narrated by Herzog, Happy People: A Year in the Taiga follows one of the Siberian trappers through all four seasons of the year to tell the story of a culture virtually untouched by modernity.
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
Mr. Herzog is openly inspired, as ever, by the rugged independence of these resourceful trappers, who seem stoic about everything but their faithful dogs.Nicolas Rapold, New York Times, 01.24.2013
Herzog has become a master of the understatement - knowing just how long the images can sustain you without a word being said.Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, 02.14.2013
We should be grateful to Herzog for bringing us this remarkable footage, but the real subject of "Happy People" may be his yearning for an imaginary paradise he can't have.Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com, 01.25.2013
It's fitting that this film of people making do with what they have should itself look somewhat humble, without lyricism, a work not of beauty but of work-which is the thing that makes it beautiful, no matter who directed it.Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice, 01.22.2013