Starring: Maxim Munzuk, Yuri Solomin
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Top 45 - Values
***In Russian with optional English
backdrop of the treacherous mountains, rivers and icy plains of the
Siberian wilderness, acclaimed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa (The
Seven Samurai, Rashomon) stages an extraordinary adventure of
comradeship and survival.
Rating: G. IMDB Parents Guide
For decades, Kurosawa had longed to film Vladimir Arsenyev's novel and
was only able to do so at the invitation of Mosfil Studios in Russia,
who financed an arduous, two-year filmmaking expedition into the far
reaches of Siberia. The Academy Award-winning (Best
Foreign-Language Film) Dersu Uzala is the enthralling tale of
an eccentric Mongolian frontiersman (Maxim Munzuk) who is taken on as a
guide by a Soviet surveying crew. While the soldiers at first
perceive Dersu as a naive and comical relic of an uncivilized age, he
quickly proves himself otherwise with displays of ingenuity and bravery
unmatched by any member of the inexperienced mapping team, on more than
one occasion becoming their unlikely savior.
Most obviously inviting comparison to Kurosawa's epics Ran and Kagemusha,
Dersu Uzala has just as much in common with the director's more
elegiac dramas, such as Ikiru and Dodes'ka-den.
Through the eyes of a sympathetic Soviet captain (Yuri Solomin), it
tenderly observes the hunter's physical and spiritual decline,
mournfully paralleled with the gradual disappearance of the wilderness
itself-replaced by a civilized world that has no room for the barbaric.
Rating: A-I --
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Time: 144 Minutes