The film we invite to see today has the particularity to be based on a Russian novel by Vladimir Arsenyev, but was directed by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa.
Владимир Клавдиевич Арсеньев (Vladimir Klavdievich Arsenyev, 1872-1930) was географ (geographer), этнограф (ethnographer) and писатель (writer), working and travelling in the Far East of Russia. During one of his travels in the Ussuri basin, he and his men met a Nanai hunter named Dersu (1850-1908) who soon became their guide, and saved their life on several occasions.
Within few years, Dersu failing sight did not allow him to hunt and live alone in the taiga. He accepted the offering of living with Arsenyev and his family in their house in Khabarovsk. But how a man who spent his life in the open, who had fought for his survey everyday can live the narrow life one can find in a small provincial town? So in spring 1908 he bade farewell to Arsenyev’s family and walk back to his home place where he was murdered several months later.
Kurosawa’s film “Дерсу Узала” (Dersu Uzala) is about nature and humans, about ancient Siberian legends mixed with the endless landscape of the taiga, where the extreme weather conditions is an everyday challenge for men.