This is one of a series of notes for A Chronological Biography of Akira Kurosawa.

Based on an autobiographical novel by Vladimir Arsenyev, Dersu Uzala presents the story of a Russian scientist who is sent with a party of soldiers to make a topographical survey of the wilds of Siberia at the turn of the century. He relies greatly on his hunter-guide, Dersu Uzala, whose knowledge of nature saves his life more than once.

Not that it matters, but my least favourite Kurosawa film.

Title: Dersu Uzala
Running Time: 141 min
Year: 1975
Company: Mos Film - Nihon Herald Movie Writer(s): Akira Kurosawa, Yuri Nagibin
Director(s) of Photography: Asakazu Nakai, Fyodor Dobronavov, Yuri Gantman
Production Designer: ?
Music: ?
Maxim Munzuk (Dersu Uzala), Yuri Solomin (Captain Vladimir Arseniev)

Dersu Uzala is a deeply moving, occasionally humorous, and hauntingly beautiful Akira Kurosawa film about a most unlikely of friendships between an Russian Army captain and a native Siberian hunter who lives alone in the wilderness - Dersu Uzala. The film is shot almost entirely outside in the Siberian wilderness, featuring some of the most stunningly bleak landscapes I have ever seen captured on film, and is so brilliantly acted that it seems more like documentary about real people than actors reading a script. This Russian-language film is one of Kurosawa's lesser known gems and shows his directing at its best, when he was at the height of his mature talent. In its own way this film has a lot to say about the plight of native peoples and the high price of modernity. Not to be missed.

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