In 1896, three whalers are stranded in the Arctic North Canada and seek refuge with an Eskimo tribe. Gradually, they gain control with the Eskimo village and introduce gambling, booze, theft, and their special variation of sex. In the beginning, the Eskimos accept it, but slowly the cultural tension starts growing.Written by
Frank Christensen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This little-known film of Philip Kaufman's is a look at a culture not seen much in films, that of the Innuit, or Eskimo people of Arctic Canada. Three whalers (Warren Oates, Timothy Bottoms and Louis Gosset Jr.) are stranded among them after a shipwreck. The year is 1896 but it could just as well be 1996 or 1796 as far as we can tell in this simple world where survival against nature is always the biggest concern. Surprisingly to me, the culture clash does not seem to be that great through most of the movie, and when it comes, it does so rather quickly. I think this makes for a less strong film but it's still an interesting one that really fascinates at times.
Cinematographer Michael Chapman ('Raging Bull') provides some great shots of the Great White North and Henry Mancini's score is very nice also. Martin Ransohoff is usually known as a producer but co-wrote the script here with Thomas Rickman.
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