Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dersu Azala

Dersu Azala is an Oscar winning (best foreign film - sometime, I think, in the '70s) It is by Okiro Kurasawa. Set in the forests of Siberia, not far from what was then the Chinese border, it is a beautiful movie, possibly the most beautiful and wonderful I've ever seen. A movie that could not be made by an American because we expect more action, less goodheartedness -- we expect a musical sound track which this doesn't have.

Dersu Azala is a Goldi tribesman whose wife and children died in a small pox epidemic. He has lived as a hunter in the forest for many, many years. He knows the territory and its denizens.  When a Russian surveying team come -- and are mostly lost -- he meets them, agrees to be their guide and becomes very close the captain, a thoughtful and good man himself.  Dersu saves his life more than once.  One the whole group of soldiers save Dersu's life. The shots of forest, rivers, sunsets, a blizzard are beautiful.  The captain keeps notes and later writes a memoir and when Dersu's eyes go and he loses the ability to shoot an animal needed for food, he becomes irrasible and eventually takes the Captain's offer to live in the small town in the forest, but he cannot standing being indoors and can't comprehend the rules and laws and ways of the city.  The friendship and the basic way of caring for the forest anc its animals, including the tigers, is rarely talked about anywhere and I've never seen it so beautifully done in a movie.


barbara judge said...

Where would one find this movie. Your description makes it a movie I would love to watch. -- barbara

June Calender said...

I'm not familiar with the various sites on the Net that have movies so I'm not much help. But you might first see if the local library has it or can get it from an inter-library system which I imagine exists there. I hope you find it, Barbara, I think you would like it as much as I do.