Happy People: A Year in the Taiga - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga Reviews

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February 14, 2013
The film has a relaxed, matter-of-fact feel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
February 14, 2013
A cautionary tale of humans adjusting to their environment, instead of attempting to make the environment adjust to them.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
February 12, 2013
They are fun to watch as they shape skis out of tree trunks, and hang out with their dogs.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
February 11, 2013
...we can feel Herzog connect to these men through his narration, especially when describing pure freedom as they go off into the wilderness.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
February 5, 2013
Happy People is an engrossing look at a culture that many viewers have never been exposed to, and as usual, Herzog's even-paced, accented narration is a joy to listen to.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
February 4, 2013
It's refreshing to glimpse contemporary people who are the epitome of rustic self-reliance, as we learn how professional trappers build their own cabins, hunt for their own food, and construct their own canoes from tree trunks.
January 28, 2013
Too quietly uneventful for the big screen and burdened narrationally with Western-civilization pomposity on the purity of unencumbered subsistence life and the sacrosanctity of Nature.
January 25, 2013
It's Herzog's inventive use of voice-over that elevates the film above an extremely well-researched episode of Nature.
January 25, 2013
Documentary on the life of hunters in Siberia is a welcome antidote for coddled city dwellers who need a reminder that humanity survived before Internet connections.
January 25, 2013
We should be grateful to Herzog for bringing us this remarkable footage, but the real subject of "Happy People" may be his yearning for an imaginary paradise he can't have.
January 25, 2013
It's clear Mother Nature is the real boss in Bakhtia, and Happy People: A Year in the Taiga documents a few men doing a wary pas de deux with her in a genuinely fascinating and intelligent fashion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 25, 2013
Unlike Werner Herzog's vintage efforts, Happy People plays like an everyday Discovery channel special.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 25, 2013
The latest installment in an auteur's thematic: the outsider who rejects bourgeois civilization's empty pleasures. Siberia has never looked so beautiful.
January 25, 2013
The film is both elegiac and amazingly retro, like the nature specials that baby boomers were weaned on - although it's not for animal lovers, unless you have a specific grudge against sables.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 24, 2013
Mr. Herzog is openly inspired, as ever, by the rugged independence of these resourceful trappers, who seem stoic about everything but their faithful dogs.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
January 24, 2013
What Herzog gleans from Yaskyuov's exhaustive material is a simple observation: The men of the Taiga are heroes of rugged individualism.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
January 24, 2013
An inspired 94-minute rumination on the hardships and liberties of a remote culture.
January 24, 2013
There is indeed much beauty on display, from the icy Taiga landscape to the age-old trapping techniques passed on through generations.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
January 24, 2013
Vasyukov and Herzog are united in their fascination with the particulars of how to thrive in some of the harshest conditions on Earth.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
January 23, 2013
[It's] all interesting and quite Nanook-ish, and the summertime mosquito assault can haunt your dreams. But don't expect the payloads of cosmic irony and mystery Herzog has had occasion to find wherever he goes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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