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Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 15 November 2012 (Germany)
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1:56 | Trailer
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.
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Cast

Credited cast:
Werner Herzog ... Self - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nikolay Nikiforovitch Siniaev Nikolay Nikiforovitch Siniaev ... Self
Gennady Soloviev Gennady Soloviev ... Self
Anatoly Tarkovsky Anatoly Tarkovsky ... Self
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Storyline

In the center of the story is the life of the indigenous people of the village Bakhtia at the river Yenisei in the Siberian Taiga. The camera follows the protagonists in the village over a period of a year. The natives, whose daily routines have barely changed over the last centuries, keep living their lives according to their own cultural traditions. The expressive pictures are accompanied by original sound bites quoting the villagers. Written by Eike Wolf / Head of Corporate Communications, Studio Babelsberg

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Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Quotes

[first lines]
Himself - Narrator: This is the village of Bakhtia In Siberia. Although it looks like winter to us, it's already spring here. The village is located In the heart of Siberia, and we should keep in mind that this colossal landmass is one and a half times the size of the United States. The endless wilderness that surrounds this place is known as the taiga. No roads or train lines traverse it. There are only two ways to reach this outpost - one is by helicopter, the other by boat. The expanse in the ...
[...]
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Connections

Edited from Happy People (2007) See more »

User Reviews

 
Not prime Herzog but rewarding just the same
7 July 2013 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

"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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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

15 November 2012 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Gent feliç. Un any a la taigà See more »

Filming Locations:

Bakhta Village, Siberia, Russia See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,481, 27 January 2013

Gross USA:

$338,987

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$338,987
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Studio Babelsberg See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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