1975, 144 mins, Soviet Union and Japan
Directed by Akira Kurosawa 黒澤明
Russian and Japanese with English subtitles
Against a backdrop of the treacherous mountains, rivers and icy plains of the Siberian wilderness, acclaimed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa stages an extraordinary adventure of comradeship and survival.
For decades, Kurosawa had longed to film Vladimir Arsenyev's novel and was only able to do so at the invitation of Mosfilm Studios in Russia, who financed an arduous, two-year filmmaking expedition into the far reaches of Siberia. The Academy Award-winning (Best Foreign Language Film) Dersu Uzala is the enthralling tale of an eccentric Mongolian frontiersman (Maxim Manzuk) who is taken on as a guide by a Russian surveying crew. While the soldiers at first perceive Dersu as a naïve and comical relic of an uncivilized age, he quickly proves himself otherwise with displays of ingenuity and bravery unmatched by any member of the inexperienced mapping team, on more than one occasion becoming their unlikely savior.
Through the eyes of a sympathetic Russian captain (Yuri Solomin), it tenderly observes the hunter's physical and spiritual decline, mournfully paralleled with the gradual disappearance of the wilderness itself.
This screening will be followed by a short informal discussion.
This film is part of Asia and the Pacific Screens Season Six: Borderlands, presented by the Australian Centre on China in the World.