Entertainment Weekly - 08/19/1994
"...A rousing action-adventure...[and] a portrait of and an elegy to spiritual purity." -- Rating: A
Sight and Sound - 05/01/2007
"As in many Sokurov and Tarkovsky films, the landscape is as important as any character..."
A "man of the woods" saves the members of a Russian surveying expedition by teaching them how to cope with nature. Years later, a member of the team meets up with him again, and tries to convince him to come and live in the city. Academy awards: Best Foreign Language Film.
Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's adaptation of novelist Vladimir Arsenyev's novel about survival, set against the stark wilderness of Siberia. When Mongol guide, Dersu, is hired by a Russian crew of mapping surveyors, they soon realize their original negative opinion of him as an inexperienced, naive eccentric, is woefully inaccurate, when they must rely on his bravery and courage to get them out of difficulty.
The Criterion Collection laserdisc was transferred from a 35mm anamorphic color reversal internegative in the Cinemascope aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Both the English and Russian soundtracks were created from separate 35mm optical soundtrack negatives. The intermittent film scratch on the left side of the screen is inherent in the source materials, which were the best available elements.