The difference between a Werner Herzog film and one in which he collaborates with other filmmakers is as deep as the Mariana Trench. People seeking a true Herzog production will find much missing in this documentary. The characteristic oddness is mostly absent, and this is something tangible.

Even so, this is a mostly charming documentary. The trappers followed by the cameras are intriguing characters, and the world they inhabit fascinating. I wish the choice had been made to go with subtitles rather than dubbing; I was interested to hear the men’s voices as much as possible, even if I can’t speak a word of Russian. Herzog’s narration does provide a bit of his personal touch, at least, and as usual, the way he delivers even a sentence of simple observation is unique and haunting.

This made me want to go to Siberia. Except for the mosquitos. I suppose that means it’ll have to be a winter trip, for the deep freeze.

Oh hey, the man pictured above is Michael Tarkovsky, related to the Tarkovsky! To think that family of that genius could be sable hunting in the Taiga!