Dersu Uzala  (1974)
데르수 우잘라

Also Known As: Derusu Uzara
Starring: Yuri Solomin, Maksim Munzuk, Suimenkul Chokmorov
Director:Akira Kurosawa
Genre:Drama, Adventure
Production:Daiei Studios, Atelier 41, Mosfilm, Satra
Distribution:New World Pictures
Country:Japan, Soviet Union

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About Dersu Uzala
A hauntingly beautiful film set in the wilderness of eastern Siberia

On the face of it, Dersu Uzala would not seem like a candidate for a great film. The story is about a young Russian (Imperial Russia) officer is sent to the far east of Siberia to explore. He meets with a native of the region and they form a bond together. The territory in question is the wild, rugged eastern Siberia (north of Valdivostok). I would say that you have not lived until you have seen what Kurosawa can do filming nature in its raw splendor and magnificence. The scenes in this film like the wind rushing through the tall reeds, or the mist draping the forested hills, are images of haunting beauty.

Kurosawa, one of the greatest film directors of the 20th century, made his final masterpiece with film. The characters are well drawn, the sub-text of the story (the clash of civilization vs. nature) is nuanced, but most of all it is the wild beauty of nature which is the focus of this film. Once you see it, I don't think you will forget it, I know I never have.

- Colin R. Glassey