“Herzog came on board as a co-director only after all of this arresting documentary’s footage of life in Siberia had been captured. The story goes that Herzog caught a glimpse of it at a neighbor’s house. Impressed by the subarctic landscapes, both spare and grand at once, and the not-quite-of-this-century life of the lead subject, the stoic trapper Gennady Soloviev, Herzog tracked down Dmitry Vasyukov, who shot the footage. Herzog’s offer: to take the four hours of finished film and cut a movie out of it.
“That’s not far from what the craftsmen Vasyukov has filmed do to Siberia’s trees: They laboriously fashion traps, canoes, skis, and even repellent for the mosquitoes that percolate about each body in the summer like hiccup bubbles around comic strip drunks. Vasyukov accepted, and here we have Werner Herzog and Dmitry Vasyukov’s Happy People.” — Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice
“Continuing his romance with extreme conditions and remote locations, Werner Herzog steps in to overhaul Russian director Dmitry Vasyukov’s Happy People: A Year in the Taiga, condensing the four-hour, made-for-TV documentary portrait of Siberian fur trappers into a mesmerizing Walden-like ode to wilderness life.” — Peter Debruge, Variety
Languages: Russian, English
Running time: 90 min
Directors: Werner Herzog and Dmitry Vasyukov
Producers: Charlie Woebcken, Christoph Fisser, Vladimir Perepelkin, Nick N. Raslan
Screenwriter: Rudolph Herzog
Cinematographers: Alexey Matveev, Gleb Stepanov, Arthur Sibirski, Michael Tarkovsky
Editor: Joe Bini
Print Source: Music Box Films
Films and schedules may be subject to change.
Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Generous support is provided by Nion T. McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund. Additional support is provided by Becky Draper.