Response to Peary’s Review:
I agree with Peary that this Oscar-winning Soviet/Japanese film by Akira Kurosawa is “enthralling” and “eerily beautiful”. While slow-going at times, especially in the beginning (Kurosawa’s later films often are), you will nonetheless quickly get caught up in this touching tale of cross-cultural friendship. Maksim Munzuk as the wizened Dersu is a wonder to behold — watch as he quietly aims his rifle at a swinging rope and hits his target dead on, or uses his wits and the scant materials at hand to design a life-saving shelter on the tundra. How refreshing that the Captain is smart enough to overcome any cultural or racial biases of the time, and form a genuine friendship with someone from such a different world.
Note: I’m not the first to liken Dersu to Yoda from the Star Wars trilogy, but watch and see if you don’t agree!
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Maksim Munzuk as the inimitable Dersu
- The touching friendship between Dersu and the Captain
- Dersu and the Captain building the temporary shelter that will save their lives
- Gorgeous cinematography
- A haunting film score
Yes. This is an unusual entry in Kurosawa’s oeuvre, and well worth watching.
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)