28 February 2013 6:30 AM, PST | SmellsLikeScreenSpirit | See recent SmellsLikeScreenSpirit news »

In yet another intriguing entry into Werner Herzog's documentaries about man versus nature, Happy People: A Year in the Taiga travels deep into the Siberian Taiga to a remote fur trading village called Bakhtia. Similar to his approach to Grizzly Man, Herzog was not present when any of this footage was shot. After the fact, he happened upon a series of four fully-immersive, ethnographic documentaries about trappers in the Siberian Taiga shot by Russian videographer Dmitry Yasyukov; Herzog then helped shape that footage into what eventually became Happy People: A Year in the Taiga. Next, Herzog added his unique brand of philosophical ramblings to the "narration" of the film, developing a focused message about individualism, thus developing Happy People into a very Herzogian film. Yasyukov studiously follows a few trappers who -- despite having families -- spend a majority of their lives alone in the frozen wilderness. Their lives »

- Don Simpson

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Werner Herzog
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