Pras on World Films: DERSU UZALA

Dersu UzalaDersu UzalaFans weaned on the “usual set of masterpieces” by Akira Kurosawa will no doubt be taken by surprise to see one without a samurai theme and without his favorite leading man Toshiro Mifune, and certainly the themes that have pervaded the themes of most films.

Dersu Uzala, a Russian production filmed entirely in Siberia was Kurosawa’s comeback film (and what a comeback, with a 1975 Best Foreign film Oscar) after a low period that saw him even attempt suicide.
Dersu Uzala is a Goldi (Mongolian) jungle gypsy with a heightened sense of jungle survival knowledge who befriends an army captain on a Siberian mapping expedition and saves them from possible extinction without his help. In return, Dersu the jungle man is taken to the city to live with the Captain – a place where his survival instincts are worthless against a civilization that lives by modern technology and use of the gun.

In the ultimate analysis, its an essay on the nature of man Vs the context of modern civilization – how pristine survival instincts programmed since the dawn of human civilization is being progressively degraded and lost by the cocoon that creature comforts of modern civilization have spun created around us. There is definite sense of despair and nostalgia about this in the message of this film.

A must watch film with a serious message about humanity and most of all, about friendship and gratitude.


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