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reviews

74
Based on 16 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 1 )
  • 60
    Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News

    There is indeed much beauty on display, from the icy Taiga landscape to the age-old trapping techniques passed on through generations. But this does feel like a lesser Herzog project (he joined on after it was shot). For viewers who don't share his awe, a short film probably would have sufficed. show more

  • 70
    Frank Scheck The Hollywood Reporter

    While the original version's four hours might have made for wearisome viewing for Western audiences, Herzog's 94-minute cut feels just right, fully immersing us in this rarified world without lapsing into tedium. show more

  • 80
    Scott Tobias NPR

    At bottom, though, Happy People celebrates the hard-won freedoms that living in the Taiga offers those who are willing to confront its challenges. There are few places on the planet where the strictures of society don't apply, and the trade-off for fending off bears and minus-50-degree weather is the opportunity to lead a pure, solitary life. show more

  • 88
    Chicago Sun-Times

    Like "Grizzly Man," Herzog's latest documentary, Happy People: A Year in the Taiga is mostly built around another filmmaker's priceless footage. show more

  • 75
    Farran Smith Nehme New York Post

    The film is both elegiac and amazingly retro, like the nature specials that baby boomers were weaned on - although it's not for animal lovers, unless you have a specific grudge against sables. "Happy People" is the title, but it's virtually all men. show more

  • 75
    Mark Feeney Boston Globe

    “Happy” isn’t meant ironically. Herzog, who narrates, clearly loves, and envies, the trappers’ elemental existence and connection to nature. show more

  • 25
    Slant Magazine

    It would be inaccurate to call Happy People: A Year in the Taiga the newest Werner Herzog film. show more

  • 80
    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. And that longing makes the title’s veracity a little suspect. show more

  • 60
    Time Out New York

    This Siberian jaunt, free from cultural weirdness and ethical barbed wire, is even more of a vacation for Werner Herzog than it first appears: The German codirector never left L.A. show more

  • 67
    Marjorie Baumgarten Austin Chronicle

    It’s not that Happy People is uninteresting – its presentation of previously unknown, distant lives is full of lots of interesting tidbits. It’s just that the one sensibility of which we were previously aware – that of Herzog’s – is indiscernible, as if frozen beneath all this movie’s ice. show more

  • July 04, 2013 paulgoebertp
    Report This User

    one of the best and most uplifting documentaries I have ever seen

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