Dersu UzalaVideo Cassette - 1994 | Russian | Deluxe letterboxed ed
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That year, my mission was to go through the Shkotov area in the Ussuri Region, in order to make a topographical survey of the country. Sometimes the mountains and the forest look pleasant, welcoming. Sometimes though, they can be silent and forbidding. This wasn't just a personal feeling, every man in the survey group felt the same way.
He whom God helps, nobody can harm.
This valley reminded me of a painting of The Witches' Sabbath. I could almost imagine them coming on their broomsticks.
Wait! Smell fellow!
- What fellow?
Wild boar people... I don't smell anything.
- Why didn't you shoot?
Me not see him. Why me no see wild boar fellow? Got one nose see plenty better than two eye.
Why Dersu miss? Always me see animal first. Always Dersu never miss. Eyes gone bad. How me going live now in forest?
-Dersu, come with me to Khabarovsk.
Kongnga spirit no want have me here. He send me Amba.
(It's probable that what Dersu called Amba was a manifestation of the terror the wilds now held for him, a phantom that preyed upon the imagination of a tired old man.)
Me in big town, no work. Look at fire. Look at hills far away. That's all!
Does he often talk to you about the wilds?
-Dersu's not afraid of anything, not of wolves, or bears either. Nor of blizzards, nor of floods.
I'd have died many times if it hadn't been for him. Dersu never said anything about it. Well, he doesn't think it something to talk about. There are lots of others who would brag about such things.
Well, how are you, Dersu?
-Me sitting here like dead log in woods. Me no understand how fellows live inside box.
Amba still follow our trail. Why you follow us? What you want, Amba? We go along our way. We not bother you. You not got enough room in forest?
Loudieva? What's that?
-Animals go down Loudieva to drink. Then when they go around barrier, fall into trap. Men kill animals.
Kill animals for nothing is bad!
When rain like this, Captain, mean autumn come.
A dead tiger won't do you any harm.
-Kongnga going to send another Amba after Dersu. Kongnga is the spirit of the forest worshiped by the Gold people.
Tomorrow we go away, tomorrow other fellow sit here. They don't find no meat, so they no eat.
- Who's going to be here?
Lot of fellows. Weasel come here, woodchuck, crow come here, mouse too. Plenty other fellow in wilds.
Captain! Hey, you no bear. Come out! Sun fellow shining!
(It was then that I realized that Dersu's ingenuity had saved my life.)
-Thank you, Dersu. I'd have died without you.
Walk together, work together. No need say thank you.
Money, Dersu not need. Me go hunt for sable now. Sable is like money to hunter.
Me tomorrow walk alone. Four suns straight ahead. Daubikhe first, then Ulakhe, then Foudzinh. Me hear that there plenty, plenty sable there. Got plenty deer too.
How've you been all those years? How many sables have you got?
-Plenty. Plenty of money too. Only Dersu lose all money. Rich merchant ask me to his house. Plenty vodka. Me give all money to merchant to look after. Then me not find him no more. Why he that way? Me not understand.
Dersu, what do you think? Will the fog clear up soon?
-It clear very soon. Forest and earth are all sweating. Very soon be fine weather.
Do you know what the sun is?
- Sure, everyone know sun. You never see sun?
You just take look. There he is in sky! Captain, sun very big fellow, strong. If he die one day, we all die! Moon too, another real big fellow.
That bad fellow, noisy.
-To listen to you talk, there's nothing but people around you.
People, yes. He's another fellow. Water alive. How do you like that?
-So the fire's alive?
Sure, fire is strong fellow. When he get angry, forest burn days and days. Fire, water, wind get angry... me plenty scared! Fire, water, wind: three strong fellows!
How do you know that he's old?
-Young always walk on toes, old always walk on flat of heel.
He have woman. His brother take her. He come here in mountains. He stay here 40 years alone.
-... It's getting cold. Maybe we should ask him over to the fire.
No, Captain. Got to let him be alone. Now he think plenty. Dream of house, dream of garden. Garden all in flowers.
Me had little wife, son and baby girl. Get smallpox and now they all dead. Only Dersu alive.
Along here, two-three days ago. Man walking here. Big rain fall then. Tracks of Chinese.
-How do you know?
Not have eyes to see? Chinese wear boot. Look, water in tracks. You all like little children. Got eyes but don't see. When you live in wilds, real soon you be dead.
Real soon now, find hut.
-How do you know that?
Use eyes. Bark torn off for make roof.
Captain, you give rice, salt, matches.
Put it in bark, leave it in hut.
- Do you intend to come back?
Why? Others come this way. Find dry wood there. Food to eat. People no die.
I couldn't help admiring him. He was so wise. He had a deep knowledge born of a lifetime spent in the wilds. He was goodhearted, generous minded. He could think of a man he'd never met, and that he probably would never meet.
Time to get ready. Birds begin singing, you hear? Rain soon finish now. Sun shine soon.
What are you? Chinese? Korean?
-People called "Gold".
Are you a hunter?
-Me hunt all time. No other work. Nothing.
Where do you live?
-Me no home. In mountains me got little hut. Sleep there. Good enough for me.
It looks like you haven't killed anything today.
-Today me shoot at deer. He ran away, not dead, only wounded. Me chase that deer. Me saw man tracks. Me walk after slow and easy, me wonder what men doing so far in mountains. Me look careful. Captain there, soldiers there. And so me, me come as well.
-You're a strange hunter not to hit a bull's-eye.
You always hit bull's-eye?
-We're in the army. We're not allowed to miss targets.
Then you great hunter! You shoot everything, leave for us nothing to eat.
(To woman) -You give money to fellow for water? Plenty water back in river!
(To man)- Why you sell lady water?
You crazy? Just a savage.
-And you bad fellow.
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