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Movie review: 'Happy People: A Year in the Tiga'

Werner Herzog depicts a hard life that has changed little for centuries in “Happy People: A Year in the Taiga,” a documentary chronicling the life of trappers and fishermen along Russia's Yenisei River.
BY GEORGE LANG Modified: April 4, 2013 at 3:49 pm •  Published: April 5, 2013

To call Soloviev and Blume “Happy People” might be something of an overstatement, but these hunters have found a subsistence plan that works in harmony with their ecosystem. The film is unlikely to upset this balance by inspiring throngs of young people to emigrate to the taiga and live off the frozen land, but it serves as a stark reminder that, for all the creature comforts most of the world enjoys, there are still men who strike an annual deal with nature at its most intemperate and emerge winning on their own modest terms.

George Lang