Derzu Uzala

In Wheeler Auditorium

Admission: $2.50

“Kurosawa's long-awaited Mosfilm production (made in cooperation with Toho, Japan) deservedly won the main Gold Prize at the Moscow Festival, though its subject - the friendship of a Russian scientist, traveller and writer with an old hunter from the ‘taiga' at the beginning of this century - may surprise those expecting a display of Kurosawa bravura. In fact, the film might be described as an intimate epic - a hymn to nature and friendship, and Kurosawa's most obviously Fordian film for many years. Occasionally, its simple virtues verge on the simplistic, with a touch of early Kipling in its depiction of benevolent officer and wise, primitive hunter. But the relationship is given great point and feeling, aided by a remarkably detailed performance by Maxim Munzuk, a small, wizened veteran actor from the Tuva theater. The silent final sequence, with the scientist paying homage over the hunter's grave (reminiscent of the memorial to the last of the Seven Samurai), has a quiet solemnity achievable only by the greatest artists.”

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