IMDb > Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010)
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
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Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010) More at IMDbPro »

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Happy People: A Year in the Taiga -- A documentary about the indigenous people living in Bakhtia, the heart of the Siberian Taiga - some 300 villagers whose daily routines have barely changed over the last centuries, and who live according to their own values and cultural traditions.


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Werner Herzog (written by) &
Dmitry Vasyukov (written by) ...
View company contact information for Happy People: A Year in the Taiga on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
December 2011 (Belgium) See more »
A documentary depicting the life and work of the trappers of Bakhtia, a village in the heart of the Siberian Taiga, where daily life has changed little in over a century. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
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User Reviews:
Not prime Herzog but rewarding just the same See more (19 total) »


  (in credits order)

Werner Herzog ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nikolay Nikiforovitch Siniaev ... Himself
Gennady Soloviev ... Himself
Anatoly Tarkovsky ... Himself

Directed by
Werner Herzog 
Dmitry Vasyukov 
Writing credits
Werner Herzog (written by) &
Dmitry Vasyukov (written by) &
Rudolph Herzog (written by)

Produced by
Klaus Badelt .... executive producer
Timur Bekmambetov .... executive producer
Yanko Damboulev .... executive producer
Christoph Fisser .... producer
Werner Herzog .... executive producer
Robyn Klein .... associate producer
Thomas Nickel .... co-producer
Vladimir Perepelkin .... producer
Nick N. Raslan .... producer (as Nick Raslan)
Charlie Woebcken .... producer
Original Music by
Klaus Badelt 
Cinematography by
Alexey Matveev (director of photography)
Arthur Sibirski (director of photography)
Gleb Stepanov (director of photography)
Michael Tarkovsky (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Joe Bini (international version)
Maxim Perepelkin 
Alexey Stanevich 
Dmitry Vasyukov 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Rostislav Zazulsky .... assistant director
Sound Department
Robert Getty .... supervising sound editor
Roland Kazaryan .... sound editor
Andy Koyama .... sound re-recording mixer
Kevin Nanaumi .... assistant sound editor
Mark Petersen .... sound effects editor
Iliya Selikhov .... sound editor
Fred Peck III .... re-recordist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Dmitry Borkovec .... air photography
Roman Fedoruk .... air photography
Vladimir Konakov .... air photography
Alexey Matveev .... underwater photography
Editorial Department
Reza Amidi .... digital conform
Music Department
Christopher Brooks .... score co-producer
Christopher Carmichael .... composer: additional music
Simone de Leuw .... score production manager
Daniel Rojas .... score technical advisor
Seth Woodard .... score technical assistant
Other crew
Andrey Filtchagov .... text editor
Katja Hoerstmann .... funding coordinator
Alexander Karhu .... text editor
Yuriy Korchuganov .... legal counsel: distribution and sales
Bianca Makarewicz .... publicist
Alexander Marutyan .... text editor
Andrey Shirokov .... administrator
Valery Sukhovolsky .... administrator
Igor Travinsky .... administrator
Alexey Tsessarsky .... text editor
Eike Wolf .... publicist
Benjamin Benedetti .... post facilities manager (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »


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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Not prime Herzog but rewarding just the same, 7 July 2013
Author: Roland E. Zwick ( from United States

"Happy People: A Year in the Taiga" is the latest in a series of nature documentaries by Werner Herzog (here with co-direction by Dimitry Vasyokov), this one chronicling life in a Siberian village over a twelve-month period. Bakhta is located alongside the Yenisei River in the Taiga Forest, and the inhabitants there have been eking out an existence under some pretty challenging conditions for centuries now (this is Siberia, after all). We watch as they make preparations for trapping, build cabins in the wilderness, fashion out canoes from old tree trunks, fish in the river, fend off bears and mosquitoes, and store up supplies for the brutal winter to come. For this is life as it is lived in one of the most misbegotten outposts of civilization. As Herzog himself says, these people resemble early Man from a distant ice age. And, yet, as the title implies, the inhabitants of Bakhta are far from unhappy with their lot.

This is reflected most in the many wise and canny observations about the value of hard work and the cyclical nature of life emanating from one of the town's most seasoned citizens, a sort of rural philosopher who's been trapping in that area ever since the Communist government dropped him off and left him to fend for himself more than forty years ago. It is his commentary, more than even Herzog's own voice-over narration, that draws the viewer into this strange and unfamiliar world, one that is striking in both its harshness and its stark beauty (the image of a massive river of thawing ice heading swiftly northward during the spring is not one that will be easily forgotten).

This isn't Herzog's most innovative work by a long shot, but if anthropological studies are your preferred fare, this movie will surely fit the bill.

However, a warning may be in order for the hypersensitive viewer: this is NOT a movie that comes with the proviso, "No animals were harmed in the making of this film."

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
What other documentaries do you recommend? katedfw
What would a Siberian think of Jamaica? cdullaghan
Coordinates for Bakhtia (village in Happy People) angelor
The animal traps - question IMDBFan11
Coming to Netflix this April alilley72
This is Werner's (with Dmitry Vasyukov) best documentary so far! FoxMulderr
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