Two Herzog themes can be found in this documentary : firstly men who like Aguirre or Fitzcarraldo have to enter the nature in order to fulfill their dreams or be happy then the theme of the circle, this time it's the circle of the seasons, that allows these people to be getting close to a kind of eternity. Recommended.
Herzog's interference with documentarism is his trademark, but it makes no sense here. In the microcosm of the taiga, its people's way of life has an internal logic and order that defies judgement or change. Yet the industry supplied by the trappers are inevitably part of a global problem. While this external influence is not explored, Herzog exerts his own, which seems unfair. Can't have it both ways.
A tribute to the lives of siberian hunters. Herzog tells their stories, with Henry Thoreau echoes. These are men that, apart from the precious company of their dogs, live alone, when winter comes, taking care of their traps, fishing for survival. They are free, as Herzog's voice proclames in the narration. Their freedom arises in hardship and solitude, and a deep understanding of the harsh nature that nurtures them.
An extremely simple yet astonishingly beautiful portrait of traditional existence in the heart of Siberia. As an avid hunter and advocate of traditional lifestyles, this was a breath of fresh air. It feels genuine, sincere, and sometimes the filmmakers (through their lens) seem in awe of their crafty subjects while they fashion their hunting skis from toppled trees. Wonderful and engaging cinema - a pure documentary.
"Film director Werner Herzog's voice is so distinct and soothing that those of us who swear by it as a tonic for the soul sometimes assume the man is a household name." -Roger Ebert. Happy People is overwhelmingly other-worldly and beautiful. I was happy to spend a year in the Taiga with a cast of ancient souls living off the land, letting me into their world.
Werner Herzog narrates this film, which he co-directed by Dmitry Vasyukov, about the villagers who live in the Taiga region of Siberia. Closely observing their simple, self sufficient lifestyle of trapping and living off the land, unfettered by modern technology or worries, the film examines their happiness with so little in contrast to the world we know, finding profundity in simplicity.
The Heartbreakingly beautiful remote north of Siberia and the hunters who spend all year under snow and ice in a world only accessible by helicopter and boat during the summer melt. Originally a 4 hour epic this theatrical re-edit focuses on their grueling lifestyle but is undermined by a distracting score and annoying voice-over that would have worked better as subtitles for everyone other than Herzog. 2.5 stars
Here men work in much the same way as did primitive man, and this long strand of tradition behind the trappers’ crafts represents a profound connection to the past. In that sense, Happy People makes an interesting companion piece to Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams, exploring the yawning abyss of time separating us from prehistoric man. https://filmcapsule.com/2011/11/05/happy-people-a-year-in-the-taiga-2010/