Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nanook of the North by Robert J. Flaherty

Nanook of the North is a documentary/docudrama film released in 1922 and filmed by Robert J. Flaherty. The film follows the Inuit man Nanook and his family over a period of three years between 1914 and 1916 in Quebec, Canada.


You an see the film in its entirety here:

Now, it is important to remember that the film was created before there was a concept of documentary film making. As a result, many of the aspects of the film are dramatized, and not accurate. For example, Nanook’s real name was actually Allakariallak, and the woman in the movie was not actually his wife.

More importantly, by the early 1900s, Inuit in Canada had already started using western clothing, and hunting was routinely done with rifles, not traditional weapons as depicted in the movie. Flaherty had asked the participants to use the traditional means instead. Even so, the techniques used were genuine, and it is generally agreed that the components of the movie relating to the demonstration of skills including hunting, are real and represent the communal knowledge of the people in the area. 

No comments:

Post a Comment