Happy People: A Year in the Taiga | Chicago Reader

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95 minutes · 2012

Werner Herzog was developing film projects in sunny Los Angeles when he was introduced to four features about Siberian trappers made by the Russian documentarian Dmitry Vasyukov; captivated, Herzog put together a deal to edit them down into a single theatrical release with his own inimitable voice-over narration. Credited to both him and Vasyukov, this is an absorbing study of one seasoned trapper near the village of Bakhtia, stressing his deep practical knowledge of the wintry wilderness and his admirable resolve to sustain the environment that sustains him. The only false note is Herzog's standard sentiment that these simple people live a truer existence than we benighted city dwellers, echoed by his statement in the press notes that he wishes he could spend a year in Siberia. If he ever gets the chance, I'd be glad to take over for him in LA.

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