Happy People

After spending time the jungle to film Fitzcarraldo, legendary director Werner Herzog came away from the experience with the unique perspective that instead of being a landscape that represents life and beauty, the lushness of the jungle was an obscene, vile place that exhibited interconnection only in its collective murder. Given his apparent distaste for the jungle’s denseness, which leads to the screeching of the birds and the screaming of the trees, maybe he would have a better time traveling in the frozen vastness of Siberia? Seeing as that’s where he’s gone to film his latest documentary, Happy People: A Year in the Taiga, we’re likely to get our chance to find out.

We’re going to have to wait until the film is actually released to get his full impressions of this gigantic expanse of wilderness, however, because while the film’s new trailer does open with the soothing sounds of that patented Herzog voice over narration, he mostly just introduces the setting and then let’s the gorgeous landscape photography he and co-director Dmitry Vasyukov have captured do the rest of the talking.

Given this film’s title and Herzog’s horrified reaction to the buzzing of life in the jungle, will he find the isolation of Siberia to be the perfect place to live and raise a family? Or will he be able to find plenty to wax poetically bleak about here too, despite the inarguable beauty of the images that his camera has captured? That’s the fun thing about Herzog, you never know which way he’s going to go, but it’s pretty certain that by the time he gets done talking his words will have been crazy enough to get your head spinning in a million different directions.

Happy People will begin rolling out across the country on January 25, when it opens in New York.


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