Top positive review
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Happy people and happy dogs
on August 1, 2015
I always enjoy seeing documentaries about people in other walks of life, so I gave this movie a go one night. What an interesting way to see the four seasons through the eyes of a Siberian trapper. You'll get to see the usual with this type of film: challenging terrain, tough weather, unpredictable wildlife, remote locale, hard labor, simple life. With all that, the featured trappers and their families seem very content and yes, very happy.
As a dog lover, I was also completely fascinated by the animals who are not only companions, but hunting partners. Dogs running free in the snow and the woods, surefooted on a rough boat ride, chomping fish and raw meat, and hunting. These beasts seem as much at home in the wild as a wolf, and it's amazing to see them at work doing what they were designed for. The trappers treat their dogs as working animals, not pets, and yet it's clear that they also appreciate and care for them deeply. One trapper tells the tale of losing two dogs to a bear attack, and finishes by admitting he was overcome by sadness when one died in his arms.
The daily life of the trappers is a wonder. Working with apparently the sharpest tools on earth (!!) they skin the bark off trees in one swoop, carve a boat from a giant log, fashion thin bentwood skis from wood planks they manually split, and routinely hack their way through the woods. Heads up: trapping sable for the fur trade is their vocation, so you will see a variety of dead animals in traps. The work is hard, yet these trappers seem not only to endure it but also enjoy it.
This movie is well worth the time, and great to watch with children.