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How fantastic is it that Kurosawa was a fan of Russian literature, and picked this obscure memoir to make a film out of when the Soviet production company Mosfilm approached him during a very difficult period in his life. Somehow it seems appropriate, being so quiet and contemplative, and like a return to truth or oneâ(TM)s original self. The story is fairly simple, relating the real-life adventures of an exploration into the rugged region around the Ussuri river basin when the groupâ(TM)s captain (Vladimir Arsenyev, played by Yury Solomin) befriends a mountain man (Dersu Uzala, played by Maxim Munzuk).
Early on we see that Dersu identifies everything around him as a person â" the sun, moon, wind, water, a tiger, etc. It seems childlike, but itâ(TM)s actually rather profound - he sees a unity to everything, and that man is not separate from his environment. He lives as one with nature, respects its power, doesnâ(TM)t waste, and helps others when he can. As the captain says, âHe had a beautiful soul. He provided for the needs of a person he didn't know, and probably wouldn't ever see.â? He also recognizes subtle signs in things like tracks or weather conditions that others canâ(TM)t see. The scene where he ingeniously builds a makeshift shelter out of tall grasses on the taiga when it gets late and the wind starts howling is excellent. I donâ(TM)t know whether this character or movie helped shaped George Lucasâ(TM)s vision of Yoda, but there are certainly similarities.
The pace of the film is on the slow side, and that combined with minimal action may turn some viewers off, but I found that it went well with Dersuâ(TM)s spirit and the environment they were in. âMan is very small before the face of nature,â? the film says, as Kurosawa gives us beautiful footage of wide open spaces, ice floes, and forests. Let the simplicity wash over you and cleanse you, like Dersu undoubtedly did with Arsenyevâ(TM)s soul. Itâ(TM)s not Kurosawaâ(TM)s very best, but this is a good one, and it got the 65-year-old director back on track to make more films at the end of his career.
1001 movies to see before you die.
A fantastic voyage that I did not expect from Kurosawa. It reminds me of how hard it can be to survive in the wild and the fragile state of life.
A touching film about an extinct kind of man: a man that is one whole with nature. As with all Kurosawa films this film has an epic scope though the story itself is very simple and can be understood even by children, a universal message.
Dersu Uzala is certainly overlong and it is quite a familiar tale, but well told with a strong friendship between its main characters, excellent direction and great atmosphere thanks to superb sound and wonderful cinematography. It is slow, but moving and it utilizes its interesting setting so well.
Truly an unusual treasure directed by the immortal Akira Kurosawa after a failed suicide attempt & temporary migration to Russia.
The story is of a quirky Mongolian Man who befriends & assists a Russian General & his soldiers through one of the harshest areas of Siberia during the winter.
All though laughed at first due to his unusual form he saves the lives of the soldiers a few times & develops a deep bond with the General. The strength of this film truly lies in its simplicity & heart of the old man. Not a fast paced film but a beautiful & engaging one.
Kurosawa approaches the film in a very natural way. Essentially, it's long takes of walking through woods but there's poetic beauty to the friendship between the captain and Dersu even in the silences. It's a straightforward narrative with a lot more meaning underneath it all.
The Russian army is out and about in the Siberian wilderness in the early 1900's. Soon they get a new friend - Dersu, a local hunter that has lived in the woods for decades. He helps them a whole lot as he is a superbly skilled hunter, wilderness master and he is also bubling over with wise, nice words. The wildlife is the only life he can live.
This is lovly captured. Nearly two and a half hours of old history with few turns may seem like a big thing to swallow, but it's never boring. Superb photography, some memorable scenes and the splitting of the film (two parts) is nice. I won't give away a key feature here, but the turn that takes place is hitting a sweet spot.
A very long production with wild tigers, turbulent weather and great scenery. Great acting and good atmosphere. I felt I learned something important from it. It will certainly grow on me, since it's turning better in my head days after watching it. Not a fantastic film, but it's very solid, mesmerizing and unforgettable. Only my second Kurosawa flick, but there will be many more.
7.5 out of 10 Kapitans.
Wow, this movie is long....Long, long, long periods of silence in drawn out scenes. It's a thematically simple - namely, man vs. nature / man vs. man with the most touching moments involving Derzu and the Captain and how they come to appreciate and respect one another.
It's nice seeing Kurosawa movies in color. I found the story quiet and touching.
A team of Russian soldiers survey uncharted wilderness and encounter a magical mountain man who knows everything about the wild woods and nature but nothing about living in civilization. There is a scene in which he is gently mocked for speaking to everyone he knows as if nature was alive. Dersu speaks to the sun, the moon, fire and water , and especially animals as if they were people. Kurosawa's elegy to the lost spirituality of the world, the lost, downtrodden cultures of ancient times that had true awareness and purity, but was negated and trampled by the rapaciousness and brutality of modern civilization. The cinematography is downright gorgeous.