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A man of some social status is looking for an unmarked grave of a friend who he claims was interred three years earlier in 1910 in a forest that is being cleared for development. In the chaos of rife building, he is unable to locate any sign of it.
Then, the movie cuts back to Captain Arsenyev’s topographic surveying trip to the Shkotovo area of the Ussuri region in 1902. (Yury Solomin). The troop meets Dersu Uzala, a nomadic Goldi hunter, early on in its trip. (Maxim Munzuk). The man’s skills as a woodsman impress Arsenyev right away, and he requests to be their escort through the hostile wilderness. The following morning, he assumes command of the path without saying a word.
Dersu, who is considered an uneducated, eccentric old man even by the roughhewn cossack soldiers, gains everyone’s respect for his vast experience, sound judgment, sharp observational skills, and profound compassion. In order for a future traveler without them to live in the wilderness, he fixes an abandoned hut and leaves important supplies like rice, salt, and matches wrapped in birch bark. He uses the tracks and items left behind to infer the identities and situations of total strangers as he passes by.
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Four men are left in Captain Arsenyev’s group after he sends the other men to a rendezvous location. He and Dersu set out alone one evening to investigate the enormous and featureless Lake Khanka. When wind squalls wipe out their tracks back to camp, they become lost in the frozen expanse as nightfall draws near. As the sun sets, they are suddenly engulfed in a storm. Dersu orders Arsenyev to cut and gather reeds as rapidly as he can because, as he warns, their lives rely on it. With a strong will, Arsenyev complies but soon starts to falter from fatigue. Dersu repeatedly forces him to take further action. He finally passes out and falls. The following morning, in the calm and sunshine, he becomes disoriented and realizes that Dersu had dragged him into a reed-built shelter where he had been rescued from certain death. His new buddy has earned his eternal gratitude.
The group then proceeds on, weakened over time by exhaustion and starvation and unable to even pull its sled. As it nears its end, Dersu stops it after smelling the aroma of cooking fish and identifying the residence of a Nani family. The simple peasants’ kindness, food, and warmth replenish the men. Dersu inquires of Arsenyev about his next destination as the expedition’s end draws closer. He responds, “Back to Khabarovsk,” and asks Dersu to accompany him. Dersu informs him that his home is in the jungle and that he will leave tomorrow. When offered payment for his services, he rejects it and only requests some cartridges for his gun so he can go hunting. The following day, when the group arrives at the train tracks, which Dersu had previously only heard about, he departs and heads back into the wilderness.
Dersu Uzala Quiz
There are five years. Arsenyev launches a new mission in Ussuri in 1907. For months, he toils away at mapping mountain ranges, hoping along the way to cross paths with his beloved companion. One night at camp, one of his men claims to have encountered an elderly hunter who was curious about their squad on the path a little ways back. Arsenyev rushes hurriedly in the direction of the guy. He calls out to a coming figure and is ecstatic when Dersu responds. The two relax by a fire that evening and catch up. Dersu agrees to Arsenyev’s request to act as his advisor once more.
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Arsenyev divides his group at some point and sends some men upstream to look for a ford while he and a few other men try to traverse the river on a log raft. Arsenyev and Dersu become stranded on the raft during the commotion of offloading and are then hastily pushed downstream toward perilous rapids. Arsenyev is again unable to save himself, so Dersu forces him off and instructs him to swim to land. Just before the raft is destroyed by a cataract, Dursu desperately leaps for the stump of a tree limb in the middle of the river without even a pole to navigate with. He then instructs the group to chop down a tree so that it can reach him before the torrent saps his power. Each time they attempt to estimate a tree’s height or buoyancy by pointing to its stem, Dersu scolds them. When one is finally found to be suitable, it is fiercely downed and girded at the base with a lash of each belt and harness in the group. Dersu grabs hold of its uppermost, thinnest branches as they pass by him and is dragged to shore.
Everyone is in excellent spirits as time passes. Dersu is photographed in a variety of poses, including formal, acting-out, and candid. In his journal, Arsenyev notes that the first few weeks of that fall are when he has the best memories of Dersu.
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A short while later, as the troop is moving through the jungle, Dersu realizes that they are being followed by an amu, a large and dangerous Siberian tiger that the locals revere. Dersu attempts to scare the animal away by telling it to go its own way and that the forest is large enough for both of them, just as he had done during a previous encounter with one during the first expedition. Instead, the tiger keeps getting closer to Dersu and Arsenyev until Dersu is compelled to fire at it. (but misses). Dersu is immediately upset about it. Dersu believes the tiger will flee until it dies despite Asenyey’s assurances that it is unharmed. According to him, Kangnga, the forest deity revered by his people, will be displeased and dispatch another amu for him. Soon after, Dersu is unable to make out a deer that Arsenyev has spotted. Arsenyev tells him where to aim his gun, but he misses. Dersu understands that he can no longer support himself by hunting. Now plagued by two fears, he becomes agitated, screaming at party members and pulling away from Arsenyev.
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Dersu ultimately asks Captain Arsenyev to transport him with him home. The nomad soon realizes how unsuited he is to living in a “box,” where he is not even allowed to shoot his rifle to clean its barrel or pitch a tent to sleep outside. He also gets arrested for trying to cut down a tree in the city park for firewood for the house. Dersu informs his “captain” that he must go back to living in the woods despite how much he loves Arsenyev and his family. Arsenyev gives him the most recent model of a military rifle as a parting present.
A while later, Arsenyev gets word via telegram that a Goldi’s corpse has been discovered, with only Arsenyev’s calling card serving as the only form of identification. It is asked that Arsenyev come locate it. He arrives by train and without even having to raise the tarp, he can identify the body as Dersu’s. The in control official starts off with some standard inquiries. The official claims that no rifle was discovered with the man and speculates that he must have been murdered to obtain it when Arsenyev responds that the man was an acquaintance and a hunter. Arsenyev, who is grieving, locates Dersu’s walking stick nearby and buryes it next to the grave as the cemetery diggers complete their work.
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