Happy People: A Year In The Taiga – The Review

Happy People: A Year In The Taiga was originally a 4-hour documentary made for Russian Television by filmmaker Dmitry Vasyukov about fur trappers living in a remote part of Siberia. It was reportedly an epic, if fairly routine nature account centering on the lives of the indigenous people of the village of Bakhtia at the river Yenisei in the Siberian Taiga. Vasyukov’s camera followed them over a period of one year and showed how these natives, whose lives revolve around fur trapping, have barely changed over the last centuries. With no interference from, and barely any access to, the civilized world, they have lived their lives according to nothing but their own cultural traditions (and a weakness for Russian Vodka).

Vasyukov’s filmmaking style is simple and matter-of-fact. He follows the natives training their dogs, building their boats and setting their traps, giving the audience a clear sense of
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