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Nanook of the North (1922)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary  |  11 June 1922 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 6,759 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 39 critic

In this silent predecessor to the modern documentary, film-maker Robert J. Flaherty spends one year following the lives of Nanook and his family, Inuit living in the Arctic Circle.

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Title: Nanook of the North (1922)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Allakariallak ...
Nanook (as Nanook)
Nyla ...
Herself - Nanook's Wife - the Smiling One
Allee ...
Himself - Nanook's Son
Cunayou ...
Herself - Nanook's Wife
Allegoo ...
Himself - Nanook's Son
Camock ...
Himself - Nanook's Cat
Edit

Storyline

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 <xaviermartin@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

winter | seal | canada | arctic | walrus | See All (21) »

Taglines:

A story of life and love in the actual Arctic. See more »

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Release Date:

11 June 1922 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nanuk der Eskimo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$53,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There are claims that all of the scenes are staged. Amongst these, is the claim that the woman who plays Nanook's wife was not his actual wife. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Last Trapper (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tehnically Remarkable for 1922
3 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a fascinating documentary from Robert Flaherty, a very prolific director of early documentaries. He follows the adventures of the Eskimo Nanook, and we get to see what life was like for the Eskimo in the early 20th Century as we watch Nanook with his family, hunting for food, and building igloos.

This is really amazing stuff for 1922. It feels like it could have been made long after that. That's probably due to the fact that it relies on real settings and real people. It's not bound by the restrictions of manufactured sets, costumes, etc. of the period. However, though it looks utterly authentic, don't be fooled into thinking that Flaherty gives us a purely realistic snapshot of Eskimo life. He planted the early seeds of reality t.v. with this film, making careful use of editing to create a narrative with all of the melodramatic trappings of any studio picture. Though it's a fascinating film, it's also a reminder that documentary film is just as manipulative as fiction, and that Michael Moore wasn't the first to corner the market on presenting fiction as fact.

Grade: A


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