Leave the cannoli, take the movies

Review Blog

Dersu Uzala

Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on March 27, 2011 at 6:59 PM


Akira Kurosawa


IDEA:   A skilled Asian hunter becomes the friendly guide to a group of Russians exploring Siberian territory.

BLURB:   Kurosawa’s telling of an unusual and intimate friendship between a Russian explorer and an aboriginal Asian hunter who guides him and his troops through harsh Siberian terrain. The look of the film is lovely, damp leaves and foggy forests meeting with stark wintry planes and cavernous valleys, its way of capturing geographical isolation almost entirely effective. Dersu is a great character, and it’s initially very interesting to see him and his spiritual, earthbound culture mix with that of the explorers. But the film is overlong and plodding, its well intended messages only belabored by the wandering narrative that can’t seem to find a place to settle. The ending is a silent strong note. Too much of the rest is simply bland panoramic sightseeing.

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