Dersu Uzala


A stunningly beautiful film...

Unable to get funding in Japan, Akira Kurosawa headed to the USSR for his only non-Japanese film. Dersu Uzala is based on a memoir by soldier/explorer Vladimir Arseniev, who early in the 20th Century explored the Ussuri region of Siberia with the help of local hunter Dersu.

It’s a startlingly beautiful film, making superb use of Kurosawa’s favourite widescreen ratio, with Dersub presented as the heroic ‘natural man’, in tune with his surroundings. But it feels oddly impersonal, with both Dersu and Arseniev seeming more like symbolic figures than real, rounded personalities.

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