Happy People: A Year in the Taiga: Werner Herzog documents the everyday tasks of Siberian fur trappers who seem like time travelers from prehistory. There are scenes of arresting beauty, and Herzog puts just the right amount of emphasis on big themes like the imminent extinction of indigenous folkways.
- Kenneth Burns
Promised Land: Two salespeople from a natural-gas company (Matt Damon, Frances McDormand) struggle to secure drilling rights in a small town when a teacher (Hal Holbrook) and an environmental activist (John Krasinski) intervene. This could be the film future generations watch to learn about the moment the western world realized that the comfort they'd been enjoying for the past 75 years was about to end.
- MaryAnn Johanson