They didn't call Kurosawa The Master for nothing. Hard to believe he tried to kill himself and then bounced back and made this gem. Dersu's character stays with you, and the "Captain" turned in a fine performance as well. The cinematography, stark landscape, and deeply moving connection between kindred spirits are perfect. I love that setting sun shot in the icy tundra. My only complaint - a little too long.
A man disciplined by the forest meets a military captain on the frontier. How a simple story of two souls meeting their inimitable other turns into such a tender portrait of everyman's desolation can only be explained by the majesty of Kurosawa's film work and the direction of the landscape itself. Platonic, cold-war era love at its octagonal height. A favorite to say the least.
Love the cinematography, and the use of diegetic music (soldiers singing folk songs) is well-choreographed and moving. Some of music choices - during the last "departure" scene - was a little excessive, so not Kurosawa's best, but an amazingly touching story of friendship in the wild.