About the Film
This Soviet-Japanese co-production was the winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1975. Furthermore, the film reinvigorated Kurosawa’s career, which was in shambles after the financial failure of “Dodes’ka den”. Kurosawa films the Siberian cold in the most horrendous fashion ever. The cold is actually an enemy, almost a physical presence, in front of which humans cannot do anything but stand in awe. In that fashion, Kurosawa depicts the effects of the physical world upon the individual, as he exemplifies male friendship.
The film revolves around the friendship of Arsenev, a Russian official in charge of an exploration in Siberia, and the titular character, a seasoned sherpa who acts as the mission’s guide.