The first trailer and poster for the great German filmmaker Werner Herzog’s upcoming documentary Happy People: A Year in the Taiga have been released online.
Herzog’s risked his life to make films, been shot at, and his latest documentary Into the Abyss investigates a triple homicide, but this time he completes a project that actually includes the word ‘happy’ which suggests that people could be happy with what they have even in unbearably cold place like Siberia.
Herzog (Jack Reacher) approached it in the manner of his previous Cave of Forgotten Dreams or Grizzly Bear with his great voiceover as well as gorgeous visuals. He centers on a small population that lives in a huge Siberian tundra, the 300-person village of Bakhta, on the river Yenisei, capturing a slice of life in an area of the world most people have probably never heard of.
It’s utterly hypnotic, showing his tendency towards the pursuit of ‘ecstatic truth,’ which is Herzog’s term for a depiction of reality that isn’t literally true, but uses the false to probe towards an inaccessible truth.
Co-directed with Russian filmmaker Dmitry Vasyukov the film premiered at San Francisco Green Film Festival in March of 2011 and opens in limited release on January 25th.
Check out the trailer and one-sheet below.
And here’s the official synopsis:
With HAPPY PEOPLE, Werner Herzog takes viewers on yet another unforgettablejourney into remote and extreme natural landscapes. The acclaimed filmmakerpresents this visually stunning documentary about the life of indigenous people living in the heart of the Siberian Taiga.
Deep in the Siberian wilderness, far away from civilization, 300 people inhabit the small village of Bakhta at the river Yenisei. There are only two ways to reach this outpost: by helicopter or boat. There‘s no telephone, running water or medical aid. The locals, whose daily routines have barely changed over the last centuries, live according to their own values and cultural traditions. Withinsightful commentary written and narrated by Herzog, HAPPY PEOPLE follows one of the Siberian trappers through all four seasons of the year to tell the story of a culture virtually untouched by modernity.