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The Necessities of Life (2008)

Ce qu'il faut pour vivre (original title)
PG | | Drama | 30 June 2010 (Belgium)
1:06 | Trailer

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In 1952, an Inuit hunter named Tivii with tuberculosis leaves his northern home and family to go recuperate at a sanatorium in Quebec City. Uprooted, far from his loved ones, unable to ... See full summary »


(as Benoît Pilon)


14 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Natar Ungalaaq ...
Éveline Gélinas ...
Paul-André Brasseur ...
Kaki (as Paul André Brasseur)
Louise Marleau ...
Soeur Luce
Guy Thauvette ...
Dr. Montpetit
Vincent-Guillaume Otis ...
Denis Bernard ...
Père Millaire
Luc Proulx ...
Miali Buscemi ...
Ann-Sophie Archer ...
Infirmière de jour
Alex Thériault ...
Patient jaloux (as Alexandre Thériault)
Frédérick Bouffard ...
Patient agonisant
Caroline Tanguay ...
Infirmière de nuit
Jacques-Henri Gagnon ...


In 1952, an Inuit hunter named Tivii with tuberculosis leaves his northern home and family to go recuperate at a sanatorium in Quebec City. Uprooted, far from his loved ones, unable to speak French and faced with a completely alien world, he becomes despondent. When he refuses to eat and expresses a wish to die, his nurse, Carole, comes to the realization that Tivii's illness is not the most serious threat to his well-being. She arranges to have a young orphan, Kaki, transferred to the institution. The boy is also sick, but has experience with both worlds and speaks both languages. By sharing his culture with Kaki and opening it up to others, Tivii rediscovers his pride and energy. Ultimately he also rediscovers hope through a plan to adopt Kaki, bring him home and make him part of his family. Written by blondmonkey5

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic materials and brief mild language | See all certifications »




| | |

Release Date:

30 June 2010 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

Inuujjutiksaq  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


CAD 4,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Canada's contender for the 2009 foreign language Oscar. See more »

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User Reviews

The Necessities Of Canadian Cinema
20 July 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

And believe me,we need good more good quality films from Canada (and thankfully,I'm pleased to report that this film is said such film). 'Ce qu'il faut pour vivre',or as it is being distributed in English speaking countries as 'The Necessities Of Life' is taken from true accounts of an outbreak of tuberculosis in Canada,as well as North America,from just after the end of World War 2 (1946),until the mid,to late 1950's. In this case,the story centers on Tivii,an Inuit hunter & family man (played by Natar Ungalaaq,star of 'Atanarjuat:The Fast Runner'),who had contracted TB,and had to be detained in Quebec, in the south of Canada,for rest cure. While there,he experiences isolation and loneliness. When he tries to escape & walk the distance back home (without success),he resigns himself to just try & get better. During his stay,he befriends a kind hearted nurse,Carole (played by a radiant Eveline Gelinas,star of several films for Canadian television,as well as cinema),and a young 10 year-old Inuit boy,named Kaki (played by first timer,Paul Andre Brasseur),who turns out to be an orphan. Tivii takes a real shine to both the boy,as well as Carole,and the three form a bond of friendship. Film maker,Benoit Pilon,who's previously directed mainly documentaries for Canadian Television,turns to his first time directing a fictional film (but based on actual events from Canadian history),from a screenplay written by veteran fellow Canadian writer/director, Bernard Emond (The Lady Who Drinks)to create a fine film that can easily touch the heart & warm the human spirit. This was Canada's entry into the Academy Awards for best foreign language film for 2008 (but obviously got the s**t end of the stick). Spoken in Inuktitut & French with English subtitles. Rated PG by the MPAA,this film serves up a rude word,or two,and the horrors of tuberculosis.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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