Happy People by acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog

MUSIC BOX FILMS HOME ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

A Film By Werner Herzog And Dmitry Vasyukov

LEGENDARY FILMMAKER WERNER HERZOG TAKES AN UNFORGETTABLE JOURNEY TO THE EDGE OF CIVILIZATION IN A REMARKABLE CHRONICLE OF THE LIFE IN THE WILDERNESS OF THE SIBERIAN TAIGA

 

Available on DVD, VOD, and Digital Download

Beginning April 23, 2013

“Another extraordinary human story from a master documentarian.” – TOTAL FILM

“Beautiful and fascinating…” SALON.COM 

CRITIC’S PICK “Gorgeous! A Herzogian rumination on life lived at the extremes” – NEW YORK MAGAZINE

“A lyrical portrait of self-reliance.” – NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

(Courtesy of Music Box Films)

Chicago, IL (February 6, 2013) – From renowned filmmaker Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Cave of Forgotten Dreams) comes another journey to the far ends of the world, a place where a remote culture thrives in some of the harshest conditions on Earth. Welcome to the tiny village of Bakhta in Siberia, one of the most beautiful yet severe places on the planet, where the culture of some 300 indigenous inhabitants is virtually untouched by modernity and the people live according to their own values and traditions. These are the rugged but proud lives that filmmakers Werner Herzog and Dmitry Vasyukov meditate upon in the remarkable documentary HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA.

Bakhta lies at the heart of the Siberian Taiga on the banks of the Yenisei River, one of the three great Siberian rivers that flows into the Arctic Ocean. There is no telephone, running water or medical aid in Bakhta, which is so far away from civilization that it can only be reached by helicopter or boat. Here, the local population of hunters, fishermen and trappers embark on daily routines using tools, materials and methods that have barely changed over the past centuries. HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA follows the lives of these Siberian peoples through all four seasons of the year—from the winter, when the river freezes over and snows cover the sub-zero land, through the eventual thaw and flourishing of flora and fauna in the spring and summer, up to the approaching chill of autumn and the beginning of the cycle anew.

Music Box Films Home Entertainment will release HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA on DVD, VOD, and Digital Download for the first time on April 23. 2013 (pre-book March 19, 2013) following its acclaimed screenings at a host of international films festivals and a theatrical rollout to theaters in the U.S.’s top 40 markets. The HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGADVD disc will include a host of bonus features and carry the suggested retail price of $29.95.

The origins of HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA are nearly as fascinating as the Russian and Ket people of the Russian North that the film celebrates. In Los Angeles, a friend of Herzog’s had obtained a four hour documentary by director Dmitry Vasyukov about hunters in the Siberian Taiga that had originally aired on Russian television. He screened them for Herzog, who was immediately intrigued by the material. Herzog soon contacted Vasyukov (initially via Skype) and proposed that they collaborate on adapting the film for Western audiences. The result is HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA, an epic journey into the heart of the Siberian wilderness.

HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA has been declared “an extraordinary work” by Adam Sternber of SCREENPICKS, “remarkable” by Alan Scherstuhl of THE VILLAGE VOICE and as “a  “mesmerizing Walden-like ode” by VARIETY. In the tradition of such revered Werner Herzog documentaries as Grizzly Man and Encounters at the End of the Word, Vasyukov and Herzog’s HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA is an inspired and wholly engaging chronicle of a unique culture where Mother Nature dictates the terms and always has the final word.

More information on HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA can be found on the MUSIC BOX FILMS website at http://www.musicboxfilms.com/happy-people–a-year-in-the-taiga-movies-55.php.

 

HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA — Synopsis:

Deep in the wilderness and far away from civilization, 300 people inhabit the small village of Bakhta at the Yenisei River, a zoogeographical border between Eastern and Western Siberia and one of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean. There are only two ways to reach this outpost at the heart of the Siberian Taiga, one of the most beautiful yet severe places across the region: by helicopter or boat.  There’s no telephone, running water or medical aid. The indigenous local inhabitants–hunters, fishermen and trappers whose daily routines have barely changed over the last centuries—live according to their own values and cultural traditions.

With insightful commentary written and narrated by co-director Werner Herzog, Happy People follows the story of these Siberian peoples through all four seasons of the year to tell the story of a culture virtually untouched by modernity.

About Music Box Films:

Founded in 2007, Music Box Films has quickly established itself as one of the leading distributors of non-English language feature films in the US in theatres, on DVD/Blu-ray and via Video-on-Demand. Music Box’s release of Guillaume Canet’s Tell No One was the most popular foreign-language film of 2008. in 2010, the film adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s trilogy of international mega-sellers dominated the foreign-language film market. The first in the series, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, was one the most popular international releases of the decade, earning more than $10 million at the U.S. box office. Additionally, Music Box’s recent US release of Monsieur Lazhar earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Music Box Films is rapidly expanding into English-language programming, having acquired and released Terence Davies’ period romantic drama The Deep Blue Sea, starring Rachel Weisz. Music Box Films is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation, which also owns and operates The Music Box Theatre, Chicago’s premiere venue for independent and foreign films.

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
Music Box Films Home Entertainment
STREET DATE:  April 23, 2013
Pre-book Date: March 19, 2013
SRP:      $ 29.95  DVD
Director:  Werner Herzog, Dmitry Vasyukov
Running Time: 94 minutes
Format:                 1.78:1 widescreen
Sound Format:  5.1 Dolby Digital
Rating:                     NR
Country:               Germany
Language:          English and Russian with English subtitles and narration

Bonus Features*

 

  • Werner Herzog Introduction
  • CHASING SPRING IN WEST SIBERIA Documentary
  • Siberia Fact Sheet
  • Theatrical trailer
  • English, Russian, and German Audio Language Tracks
  • Segment from Dmitry Vasyukov’s original film
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

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