Happy People: A Year in the Tiaga | Klaus Badelt
Werner Herzog and co-director Dmitry Vasyukov’s award-winning 2010 documentary looks at a colorful, eventful year in the lives of the some 300 indigenous villagers from the town of Bakhtia in Russia’s remote Siberian Taiga region, a people almost entirely cut off from the modern world – and happily so.
In a stark departure from his renowned Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl score, German composer Klaus Badelt trades the escapist escapades of fictitious pirates for the earthbound nobility of a proud and resilient indigenous people. With the tracks “Taiga Opening Titles” and “Bear Marks,” Badelt’s approach is clear – elegant, flowing orchestrations boasting rich, romantic strings with just a hint of balalaika to underline the film’s reverence for both the people and cinema itself. Tracks like “May 1st” and “Dolls” play up the indigenous folk quality while “Leaving for Winter” and “Winter” play up the traditional orchestra. In total, however, it’s a bold, touching and powerfully restrained tribute.
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