Following World War II, a retired professor approaching his autumn years finds his quality of life drastically reduced in war-torn Tokyo. Denying despair, he pursues writing and celebrates his birthday with his adoring students.
A Russian army explorer who is rescued in Siberia by a rugged Asian hunter renews his friendship with the woodsman years later when he returns as the head of a larger expedition. The hunter finds that all of his nature lore is of no help when he accompanies the explorer back to civilization. Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
In 1971, Akira Kurosawa attempted suicide due to a bad moment of his career, questioning his creative ability after the commercial failure of Dodes'ka-den (1970) the year before, and the subsequent denial of funds for his productions by Japanese studios. See more »
In the burial scene, the shadows of the actors make it clear that there is a fake backdrop. See more »
Dersu Uzala is slow, serene, beautiful, but nevertheless gripping. It tells of the friendship between a nomadic Siberian native and a Russian army explorer, and how the former is able to help the latter and his team to negotiate the many obstacles presented by the Siberian wilderness. We see how traditional survival methods and intrinsic common sense can help the more urbanised army men to cope with the extremes of climate and geography. Eventually the nomad is persuaded to join the general on his trip back to a town. His ignorance of urban life is apparent, but interesting nevertheless, as we do not imagine such people nor meet them in everyday life today. Kurosawa is on top form here, letting the camera take in the vastness of Siberia, and still allowing the viewers to observe the characters closely. The story is interesting too, with a sadly ironic ending (won't say any more!). I think everybody should watch this film, because everybody will have something to learn from it.
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