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Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010) Poster

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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 foreground is not solid ground but the frozen-over Yenisey River, one of the largest waterways in Siberia. It's only during the few Ice-free months of summer that boats can also reach Bakhtia.

Himself - Narrator: Of the 300 or so inhabitants of this village, a handful of them make their livelihood as professional trappers. One of these men is Gennady Solovyev. Here he makes his way into the wilderness across an enormous frozen river. He wants to show us an essential tool of his profession.

Gennady Soloviev: [demonstrating] An animal would approach and begin twisting the bait. The pressure is very light, I'll keep my hand in it. Let me show you. See how light it is.

[the top collapses]

Gennady Soloviev: There you go. The animal is trapped. This is how I disarm the trap.

[lifting the top back up]

Gennady Soloviev: I take away the bait. I remove the wooden linchpin so squirrels or mice don't steal them. I put everything under the roof, and that's it.

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Gennady Soloviev: [cutting wood for his skis] Of course, a good craftsman will make good skis using good wood. Getting around in these is sheer pleasure. You might have factory-made ones. If you and go into the Woods, you'll drop dead from fatigue after 15 kilometers. You won't be able to move a leg.

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