Critic Reviews

74

Metascore

Based on 16 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
90
It's fitting that this film of people making do with what they have should itself look somewhat humble, without lyricism, a work not of beauty but of work-which is the thing that makes it beautiful, no matter who directed it.
90
The resulting film is both beautiful and fascinating, and offers a thrilling travelogue through a spectacular landscape few of us will ever see first-hand.
88
Like "Grizzly Man," Herzog's latest documentary, Happy People: A Year in the Taiga is mostly built around another filmmaker's priceless footage.
83
The pleasure of Happy People comes from watching these men go about their work, while they explain that the only way to make it in the taiga is to do and take exactly what's needed, and not get greedy.
80
NPR
At bottom, though, Happy People celebrates the hard-won freedoms that living in the Taiga offers those who are willing to confront its challenges. There are few places on the planet where the strictures of society don't apply, and the trade-off for fending off bears and minus-50-degree weather is the opportunity to lead a pure, solitary life.
75
The film is both elegiac and amazingly retro, like the nature specials that baby boomers were weaned on - although it's not for animal lovers, unless you have a specific grudge against sables. "Happy People" is the title, but it's virtually all men.
60
This Siberian jaunt, free from cultural weirdness and ethical barbed wire, is even more of a vacation for Werner Herzog than it first appears: The German codirector never left L.A.
60
There is indeed much beauty on display, from the icy Taiga landscape to the age-old trapping techniques passed on through generations. But this does feel like a lesser Herzog project (he joined on after it was shot). For viewers who don't share his awe, a short film probably would have sufficed.
60
Some limitations of adapting secondhand material show through in the uneven visual quality and diminished control over mood. Yet Mr. Herzog is openly inspired, as ever, by the rugged independence of these resourceful trappers, who seem stoic about everything but their faithful dogs.
25
Slant Magazine
It would be inaccurate to call Happy People: A Year in the Taiga the newest Werner Herzog film.

More Critic Reviews

See all external reviews for Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010) »

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews