Werner Herzog’s 2010 documentary takes us to a remote fur-trapping village in central Russia, where 300 people live a long helicopter ride from civilization. Divided into segments for each of the four seasons, the film is a pastoral portrait of the villagers working wood into traps with the same tools used for generations. They seem no more or less happy than the subjects of any of Herzog’s earlier documentaries, which are better paced and far better scored than Happy People
. Nevertheless, Herzog’s hilariously poignant monotone, laid over scenes of expansive and desolate beauty, helps redeem the documentary.
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