Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2013)

With HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA, Werner Herzog and Russian co-director Dmitry Vasyukov takes viewers on yet another unforgettable journey into remote and extreme natural landscapes. The acclaimed filmmaker presents this visually… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 25, 2013
DVD Release Date: April 23, 2013
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Critic Score: 87% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Filled with breathtaking images of the foreboding Siberian countryside, Happy People: A Year in the Taiga is a fascinating look at an isolated society.

Tom Long
Detroit News

"Happy People" seems to strain toward the notion that harsh nature makes for a pure heart. And perhaps it does for some. But all?

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Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle

It's a do-it-yourself world that Herzog clearly admires - much of what we see is the men performing the tasks that enable them to survive.

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Brandon Judell

Cut down from a four-hour documentary by Vasyukov, the result is a film lacking in catastrophic tragedies of any sort that holds you nonetheless with its raw view of lives spurning quotidian modern comforts with a vengeance.

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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Titling a documentary about snowbound Siberian fur trappers "Happy People" is not as ironic as it seems.

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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post

They decidedly don't seem happy. And "Happy People's" decision to skate down the frozen Yenisei without examining their unhappiness more closely leaves a slight chill.

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Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

In a very real sense, we are watching Herzog watch this film, his rapturous reaction illuminating as much about himself as his subjects.

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Barbara VanDenburgh
Arizona Republic

Herzog's longing for the ideological purity in which these lives are lived, free of paperwork and bureaucracy, taxes and technology, drives the film, which lacks an overall story arc.

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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune

If you want a taste of life as it must have been for the Voyageurs of old, this documentary is a good place to start.

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Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

Quirky and a little scary and rapturous all at the same time.

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Flixster Audience Score: 77% Flixster User Reviews
Melvin White
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga is another amazing documentary from Werner Herzog. He always chooses very human stories and Happy People is no different. This… More
Jeffrey Meyers
Werner Herzog's, Happy People is yet another example of what makes him a good filmmaker. It's observant, beautifully shot, and restrained in its… More
Sam Barnett
I never thought I'd say this, but while watching this film I actually missed Werner Herzog's usual grand pretentiousness. "Happy People" is… More
Marcus Woolcott
Interesting documentary about trappers in Siberia, bereft from technology and civilisation.
Walter M.
"Happy People: A Year in the Taiga" is a fairly routine ethnographic documentary about fur trappers living in a remote part of Siberia that is… More