Movie Review: Happy People: A Year In The Tiaga

Two things the rest of my family doesn’t share with me – my love for a late night movie and particularly if, two, that movie is a documentary. Don’t even get me started on how many great movies there are out there that are documentaries. They will hear nothing of it.

Let me quit complaining about that and tackle this particular movie for a moment. Happy People: A Year In The Tiaga is one year look at the life of people who for generations have lived in the forgotten land of Siberia, Russia. That’s right – even winter in Siberia.

It’s a slow-moving piece that I found intriguing even as I had my doubts I would even finish it after the first 15 minutes. There is no right to wrong or incorrect story to set right. It’s simply a glimpse into a culture that seems so long ago. They make their own canoes out of hollowed out trees. The deal with massive mosquitoes in the spring, frostbite in the winter, floods in the summer.

It’s beautifully simple. And for the life of me, I can’t really put my finger on why I liked it. We follow one man predominately as he hunts and makes a life for himself in a land that really looks like time forgot.

There is nothing flashy but it kept me intrigued…I can’t really tell you why.


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