Werner Herzog's latest foray into the documentary world finds the consummate filmmaker in the wintry heart of Siberia. HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA is a chronicle of day-to-day life in one of the most inhospitable places on Earth, but that is blissfully free of big city bureaucracy and the bustle of our modern world. By contrast, it is a simple and truly pure life that centers around a single objective: basic survival.
HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA plays this weekend at our Ritz location for two matinee screenings.
Herzog is well-known for his characteristic narrating style: introspective, professorial, and yet completely accessible. HAPPY PEOPLE is no exception -- a heartfelt portrait of people living in a remote culture, the film and its director has been lovingly embraced by critics. Scott Tobias, writing for NPR, called the film "[a]n inspired 94-minute rumination on the hardships and liberties of a remote culture." Betsy Sharkey of the LA Times wrote that "Herzog has become a master of the understatement - knowing just how long the images can sustain you without a word being said." Don't believe these popular critics? Take a look at the below scene, just one excerpt from the remarkable film. This is all the convincing you ought to need.