Dersu Uzala (1961) Script

That happened on one stormy night, in the spring of 1908.

I was informed that a murdered gentile was found in the taiga.

The dead man had my business card in his pocket.


I gave him my business card, when we parted.


We were together through so many places.

He saved my life many times.

He revealed to me so many new things about life!

I was overwhelmed by pictures from the past.

My dear friend was with me again.


Based on the novel by V. K. Arsenyev Directed by: Agasi Babayan

It was the fourth day of our journey through taiga.

The rain started as soon as we left the Shmakovka station.

It has been raining ever since.

Do you know this territory?

Not so good, but I've been here twice.

Our local guide didn't know the trail very well.

He was nervous... and every hour instilled in us less and less confidence.

It soon became clear that we were lost.

It's not here. What?

The sign on the tree. We missed it.

We made our night camp in a gorge.

In unfriendly place which made us sad.

Sort of melancholic atmosphere was all around us.

Taiga warned us that our journey to the sea would not be easy.

Here it lies before us - the wast and wild, Ussuri region.

A large white spot on the map, unexplored country!

We have to explore it and make a chart of it, all the way to the Japanese Sea.

In late December, we will wait there for the ship.

We have just started and have already lost our trail.

Yes, we were all sad in our bivouac.

What's going on over there?

Must be a bear!

Hey, don't shoot!

Me are people!

Howdy, Captain.


Sit by the fire. You'll be our guest.

Thank you.

Turtygin, give a meal to our guest.

Thank you, Captain.

I am very hungry. Nothing to eat today.

Here you are.

Who are you?

A Chinese? Or Korean?

Me is Gold.

A hunter? M-hm.

Me hunt all the time.

No other job here.

Where do you live?

Not have home.

My family died a long ago.

I am alone. I live in taiga.

Night come, I make a fire, and sleep under a tent.

What is your name?

Dersu Uzala.

That was the first time I met Dersu.

Hours passed quickly by the fire. We talked until dawn.

I became very curious about our night visitor.

What's that noise?

Some people are there.

We go and look.

We must go quietly. Try not to break twigs. -All right.

And try not to talk.

Wild boars!

No need to shoot, Captain. This is just a bunch of old people.

Not good to eat. What people are you talking about?

These are all people, just in a different shirt.

If you would know them as I do, you would know that they are people.

It became clear to me:

Dersu humanized everything he saw around him.

Water, fire, earth and these wild boars...

They were all "the people" to him.

Honorable Sir, would you let me go home, please?

And who would lead us from here? You see... I'm aware...

If I go with you any further, I would never find my way back home.

And I have a wife and 5 children.

Well, you can go. Thank you.


Wait a second!

Take it. -What's that for? Half of your salary. -But...

Take it.

That's not for you, but for your kids.

You can go now!

Take this. All right, Captain.

Dersu, have you been here before? No.

But, do not worry, Captain. There are many hunters in taiga.

They cannot fly. They walk on the ground.

And they make a trail.

We have eyes, we look, we find a trail.

You are shooting in that tree? M-hm. The tree.

Captain! Captain!

Did you aim here?


There is no bullet in it.

Such a big tree and you missed it!

Captain, I think... You should be shooting like this.

Excellent shot, Dersu!

Captain, once before, me was a great shot, bullet never missed!

Now I miss sometimes.

My eyes not so good. I'm getting older. -Not true!

Try to hit, this time, Captain!

This weapon doesn't shoot bullets. I don't understand.

Other weapons shoot either bullets or arrows.

What kind of a weapon is that anyway?

This is not a weapon, Dersu. This is an instrument called compass.

You see, I'm looking into it and I draw our trail on the map.

Why? -Other people will come here, look into the map and find the trail.

And they would not wonder around, like we do. Understand?

I understand.


I say a word. A word flies and dies soon.

If I yell... Hey, hey hey!

Taiga listen to me! And you, too, Amba!

It is me - Dersu Uzala!

And my words die again.

But those words, which you write down on the paper, ...will never die.


Maybe we should stop here? No need, Captain.

We will find a hut soon. There is a sign on that tree.

Get lost, you devils!

What are you doing, Dersu?

Me think, there is a bee hive near.

Bees will show us a way.

I had a feeling that Dersu is not an ordinary man.

For him, taiga was like an opened book.

Flight of the bees, songs of birds, animals tracks, smells, sounds...

...all these were signs which he reads like a book of life.

Look carefully where the bee is flying.


Clever people, this bear. We must chase him away.

He's going to eat all the honey!

Hay, hay! Shame on you! That's not your honey!

Get lost!

What are you looking for!? Get lost!

So, you are laughing, too, ha? Dersu, give me the carbine.

I'm gonna hit the damn bitch.

Why shoot? She doesn't bother you.

She just wants to eat.

She came to see if we are hunters or not.

We go away, she jumps on the ground and eat what we left behind.

Then she flies away.

Other people will come, as well.

Raccoon comes, badger or mouse comes. If no mouse - the ants will come...

There are many different people in taiga.

A good man, but a heathen, Asian.

He does not believe in God.

But he still lives on this earth as we do.

Strange, right!?

And what will happen with him on this world?

The same thing as with you and me.

God forbid!

I'm a true Christian, and who is he? A heathen.

He doesn't have a soul.


Me need some matches, salt and rice.

Why? You want to leave us? Why would I, Captain?

I will go with you all the way. I don't have anything better to do.

Thank you, Captain.

You plan to return here? No, Captain.

Other people come.

Find this hut, dry wood, matches, food...

So they will not die here.

Dersu cared of a traveler, whom he would never see.

This "savage" was much more humane than many of us.


We shall wait for the squad. I agree.

Oh, no...

I've lost my pipe.

I have to go back.

The squad will find it. Me think it is near.


This is Amba... a tiger.

He has been following us.

When we were over there, Amba was here.

When I came here, he went away.

We must go quietly and be very careful.

Let's join the squad, Dersu.

Dersu, have you lost your pipe?

Look! A tiger!

No, don't shoot, Captain!

This tiger is my friend.

Why are you following us? What do you want?

We're just passing through. We don't bother you.

Why are you following us?

There is enough space in taiga for all of us.


Do not bother us and go. Go away, Amba!

Go! Just follow your own way.

Just go.

Please do not be angry with me, Captain.

Once before, I shot Amba hastily, and I'm very afraid since then.

I'm afraid that his spirit would hurt me.

Now we can proceed. Amba will not bother us.

Avoiding fight with a tiger, we soon got into the clutches... of a swampy taiga river.

Sometimes, we could hardly pass one or two miles per day.

Finally came the day, when we, wet to the bones, got out of the swamp.

Good evening, master! Good evening, commander!

Could we dry out and stay with you in the cabin over night?

No need to ask, commander. My cabin, is your cabin!

Sicco, prepare hay for horses. Boys, unburden the horses.

Let the commander and his men go in the cabin. Please enter.

We have walked through taiga for 2 months already.

Much has been discovered during this time.

What can Russia get from this gorgeous region, when the railways connect it with the rest of the country.

I was excited!

But our expedition hasn't progressed very far.

It will be autumn, soon. Rains. And we have so much work to do.

Why so quiet here? No one is dying!

We should laugh, sing a song.

Then I will sing.

(Dersu sings on Udegei language)

Taiga, taiga, this is my taiga.

I was born here, in my dear taiga.

Rana-Rani-Na, Rani-Na-Na Rana-Rani-Na, Rani-Na-Na Last night the birds did not sing, and the deer did not call his friends.

Rana-Rani-Na, Rani-Na-Na Rana-Rani-Na, Rani-Na-Na That was my song. Now you! Sing!

No, Dersu. I don't know how.

What about you?

And you? Captain?


Well, if you wish, I will tell a story.


Tell us a story!

Well, listen... Aha.

Once upon a time, there was an old and poor man with his old lady.

They lived in a cabin by the sea.

One day the old man went to sea, cast a net and pulled it out.

And caught a salmon?

No, Dersu. He pulled out a small fish.

Not a common fish, though, but a goldfish.

...the fish didn't answer anything and swam in the sea.

Ay-yay! The fish was offended! Yes.

The old man returned to his cabin, and found his greedy old woman and a broken trough.

True, Captain! There are many women like her.

Ay-yay! Ay-yay!

Poor old man!

He should have made a boat, throw that woman, and go live somewhere else.

Vladimir Klavdievich! The owner of this cabin is suspicious.

Why? They are hiding something.

Hiding what? I don't know. Come and look.

Why our guests do not sleep? We can not sleep.

And where are you going?

Skins, tendons, antlers...

Thousands of them!

So many animals were killed!

These evil men will exterminate all animals.

Deers, sables, squirrels... will all disappear.

Me think... these people are like that old women...

They are just greedy. Never enough.

They want to kill everything.

Where are your traps for deer?

Over there... in taiga.

Tomorrow you will show us!

Vladimir Klavdievich! Dersu! Help me!


Murzin! Where are you? Here!

He's here! -What's wrong? My leg!

My ankle is twisted. Help him.

How are you?

Be careful! Watch the leg!

Easy, guys. Be quiet.

Grab him. Let's go.


What "ay-ay-ay"? Let go!

Do you have many of these pits?

Only a few, commander. Five pits.

How many?!


Good. Ten.

But if I find the eleventh, I will bury you alive in it.

Thirty pits. That's more like it!

I'm telling the truth, commander. Vladimir Klavdievich!

Come here, please!

We must help this poor creature.

How many of these beauties, have been destroyed by poachers?

We encountered one of the fiercest predators of the taiga.

"I promise to hand over to the Russian administration, all reindeer skins, tendons and antlers, which I obtained by poaching."

"I promise that I will leave the Ussuri region forever."

Sign it!

And I advise you to do this.

I'll come back here and check it out.

You don't want to meet me again!

And now come here!

I'm giving you two days.

For two days I'll sit here and wait.

Take your men and fill all your pits with soil.

The autumn has begun.

Nature was trying to resist to autumn frosts.

It lighted the foliage in golden and red flaming colours.

We were near the foothill of the famous Sikhote-Alin mountain ridge.

No matter how strong was the power of this beauty over the human soul, we were thinking about something else:

From the Sikhote-Alin to the Sea, there is still a long way.

Do we have time to pass it before the winter?

Thank you, landlady!

Don't be angry. You'll pick another one easily.

Captain, he was a pantsui.

Ginseng picker.

Evil people shot him to death.

And took away his ginseng.


(Dersu praying) Pantsui, patsa, patsa singum patsa.

Hanum patsa, patsa, patsa, zhenshau!

Ginseng! The legendary root of life.

And people of taiga would kill each other for it.

Legend says that ginseng is given into the hands of only those... with a clear conscience.

This time, the root of life was really in such hands.


Do you know who is the king of the forest animals?

It is Amba.

The king of all sea beasts? It's a dragon.

And the king of all forest plants? Ginseng!

Captain, there is a saying, who eats this root, little by little, he is strong and brave.

That sounds like you, Turtygin, eh?

I don't need ginseng for that!

Do you understand this?


That's a deer shouting.


Do you know what kind of people is shouting now?

A deer, just an older one. No. That's Amba.

He is very cunning. Imitates a deer and trying to fool him.

The deer still don't understand the trap.

Ata-ta-ta! Ata-ta-ta-ta!



Do you know what this is?

A black stone? No. This is a coal.


Set up a camp near the rocks and wait for me.

I will go upstream. Give me a hammer.

Captain, the sea is that way. We must go there.

Dersu, I want to know where this rock comes from.

The stone is heavy and probably from some place very near.

And maybe we could find a large deposits of coal.

Me coming with you.

We are going like an otter.

We walk on dry land a little, then dive a little.

It was almost the end of the day, but we found no trace of the black stone.

Should we go back or proceed ahead?

I decided to continue the search.

Here it is - coal! Dersu, look!

Why are you so excited, Captain?

I've seen such black rocks in many places.

You don't understand!


Someday, people will come here, build houses, factories...

The city will grow.

And all that, thanks to this coal here.

Why are you looking at me like that for? You don't believe me?

But that will happen. Captain...

Your are a little sick. No, it's nothing. Let's go.

You need to rest for awhile. And the sickness will go away.

And we would be able to proceed. No. We must go.

The winter is coming, you see, the peaks are covered with snow.

We should proceed to the sea.

The squad is waiting for us. They will be worried. Let's go!

All right.

Captain! Get up!

Get up, Captain! The fire is approaching. We must cross the river!

We must cross the river at once!

The fire is very close. We must hurry!

Dersu! The map! Where is it!

Why are you yelling?

No need to yell, Captain.

And I thought that we lost it and that all our work was in vain.

Who are you?

We are refugees from Vladimirov County. We fled from poverty.

Now you have a lot of good land here. Yes, sir, a lot.

But if we do not catch fish, we would all starve to death.

Wild boars destroyed our gardens and tigers killed all our cattle.

We have only one old shotgun in the village and 3 shotshells with birdshot.

It's funny and sad. Be patient.

Our patience is coming to the end.

Thank you so much for your friendship and hospitality.

We like to meet good people, whether we are poor or rich.

Don't worry, you'll be rich.

You have many hands and plenty of good land here.

Well... Farewell! Farewell, sir!

Diyakov! -Yes, sir.

Give them the cartridges.

Here you are.

Oh, no, sir! For a keepsake.

That's too much for a gift. Just take it!

Take it, friend. Take it and use it good.


Wait a minute! Hey you, wait! What is it?

I have to write down the name, for whom we will pray for. -Ah!

Vladimir Klavdievich!


Why was she afraid? Who?

A musk deer.

Why do you think that she was afraid?

Why don't you understand, Captain?

You have eyes, look with them.

See? Musk deer stood here and listened to something.

She's afraid of a sable.

Deer walked quitely and wanted to escape.

But the sable saw it.

And started to run after the deer.

So, the deer started to run and went in circles.

But the sable was very clever people. Climbed up and waited.

The deer was running in circles and came right to the sable.

Ay-ay-ay, sable lost his lunch!

Captain, now we have to see where that sable went.

Stupid sable lost his head and ran into the trap.

Me don't understand. Where is the sable?

Maybe the owner of the trap took it.

The owner would build a new trap.

Look here! This is not the footprint of the trap owner.

This man walked a long way. He tied a rope around his shoe.

He was a bad man, Captain.

Let's go, Dersu.

Why he took someone else's sable?

If you wish to catch a sable, build your own trap.

No, he is not a good person.

He thinks he owns a taiga. Yes, he is a bad man.

(Speaking Udegei) Howdy! -Howdy!

Captain. -Howdy, Captain! Howdy!

Come to my hut, be our guests! Thank you, but we are in a hurry.

We would like to leave our horses here and to buy a boat.

You want to go down to the sea by a boat? It's dangerous.

The river is frozen.

We're afraid of wolves, we will not go through taiga.

That's funny! All right, Captain, leave the horses, pick up a boat and go.

Chuvane, prepare a boat!

Dyakov, unburden the horses.



(Speaking Udegei) Who is this man?

Our guest.

Whose trap is on the river? My.

Your guest is a thief. He stole your sable.

Come on, let him show his knapsack. Let's go.

Call him.

Sirdi, come out!

Repeat what you said. I said that your guest is a thief.

Show your knapsack!

(Speaking Udegei) You broke the sacred law of the taiga!

You stole! Go away and never come back!

Chuvane, give him his gun!

Take it and go away!


Seems that it is more difficult to hide in the taiga, then in the city.

Really amazing.

Here's the money for the boat. No, Captain. -Why?

Leave the boat on the shore. We will take it.

What if something happens? Just take care.

We would build another in no time. Well, thank you. Thank you.

Again, disturbing thoughts assailed me.

The river was narrower every day.

Making it more difficult to rove.

It was getting colder.

Can we pass thru this narrow strip of water, surpressed with snow and ice?

Some parts of the river were completely frozen.

Then we pulled up the boat and dragged it until the water appeared again.

This went on for several days.

Why didn't we abandon the boat?

Walking this way, would be even more difficult.

All our possessions were lost under the ice: warm clothes, shoes, provisions.

We salvaged only one rifle, eight bullets and a few crackers.

Blizzard was not abating for three days.

We were persecuted by snowstorm and hunger.

I wanted to go straight into the snow, without thinking.

It was a dangerous sign.

Move your feet and go!

Go at any cost, if you can make at least one step ahead.

Vladimir Klavdievich!

Vladimir Klavdievich!

We can not go any further.

Well, then, we will spend the night here.

My friends, today is January 1st.

New Year.

Brothers, brothers...

Today is a holiday, do you hear?

A holiday, you say?

That night, I noticed a hollow tree.

If we are fated to die, our diaries will survive.

They could be useful to those who would follow our trail.

There were seven of us.

Me, commander Arseniev...

my guide, Dersu Uzala... and soldiers...



Murzin, Bochkarev, Kozhevnikov, Dyakov.

That's how we spent the New Year.

Vladimir Klavdievich... So, you do not believe that we will survive?

And who told you that? I see that.

You don't believe.

Yes, I don't know what will happen to us.

But I don't want to loose our maps and diaries.

Because then, someone would have to start it all over again.

Do you understand? Yes, I do.

That, I understand. And what do you not understand?

It is you, I don't understand!

We are the soldiers that were ordered to come here.

And you? Why all your suffering here? You are an educated man.

You could have sit at a warm home, instead of dying of hunger here.

Couldn't you? Couldn't you?!

So why did you bring us here!?

Who would ever need this God-forsaken taiga?

The people!

The people?

You mean the Emperor. He has all Russia to rule.

He doesn't need taiga.

Dyakov, Dyakov, look! Do you see?!

I see, I see!

Seagulls! Seagulls!


Our journey was ended.

Our joy mingled with sorrow.

It was difficult to part with Dersu.

Farewell, Dersu. -Farewell. -Here, take this souvenir.

I don't know why are you so sad.

You helped me a lot.

You bailed me out of trouble so many times.

I'm much obliged to you.

Come with me! You can live with me and my family.

Come with me. Let's live together.

Captain, now I will speak.

Hear me, please.

Thank you, Captain.

Thank you very much.

Please don't, Dersu, I should bow to you.

Wait a minute, Captain, I have more to tell you.

Take this, please. Please don't, Dersu.

That root cures old people, and I'm still young.

I would have no use of it.

I want to give it to you as a gift from me.

Well, thank you. Thank you.

I couldn't live in the city, Captain.

I am like Amba, the tiger. Living behind the walls - I would die soon.

I must go back in taiga, to walk, to hunt sables...

So I will not die.


You know what's the best for you.

"Vladimir Klavdievich Arsenyev"

"Khabarovsk, Shevchenko Street."

My address is written here. The city of Khabarovsk.

You can come to live with me anytime.

You will always be welcome.

Well... Farewell, Dersu.

Let God grant you all the best.

And I'll never forget what you've done for me.

Take and keep this rifle.

Dyakov will bring you now the ammo and all other things which you need.

Thank you.

Good bye!

Goodbye, Dersu! I will always remember you.

I will not forget your lessons.

And if I have enough strength, I will try to tell people about your good, brave and wise heart.

Farewell, Dersu!

The End Translated for Karagarga by: Quigley (Croatia) February 2012