In this blend of documentary and fictional narrative from pioneering filmmaker Robert Flaherty, the everyday trials of life on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands are captured with attention to naturalistic beauty and historical detail.
Robert J. Flaherty
Colman 'Tiger' King,
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Documents one year in the life of Nanook, an Eskimo (Inuit), and his family. Describes the trading, hunting, fishing and migrations of a group barely touched by industrial technology. Nanook of the North was widely shown and praised as the first full-length, anthropological documentary in cinematographic history. Written by
Nanook of the North was a delight to watch from start to finish. What is captured on film is a priceless glimpse into an Eskimo family's life from the early days of film-making. Some people consider the film to be pejorative; particularly in the portrayal of Nanook as simple-minded enough to think little people live inside a phonograph speaker; or in the next frame where he is portrayed confusing a phonograph record with something to eat. I was not offended by this; conversely, considering when the film was made these scenes were endearing to me. Ultimately, what I like best about this film are the close-ups of Nanook and his family, particularly his children. The emotions expressed on their faces when they are happy and playful or sad and afraid reveal the universal link we all share as humans. It is a link that transcends the vast spaces of both cultural distance and time. The film is a masterpiece!
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