can’t see the forest

‘Journals of Knud Rasmussen’ Documents Inuit Village’s Struggle for Survival

Posted in Canada, Cinema, film, Inuits, Movies, Uncategorized by Curtis on 9/29/06

Rachel Giese writes at CBC:

The Journals of Knud Rasmussen declares its intentions in its opening scene: a group of Inuit people in heavy parkas group together, fidget and adjust themselves, smile awkwardly and strike a variety of poses until — click — their image is captured in a sepia-toned picture. Since all of this is filmed from the photographer’s perspective, the audience is placed in a voyeur’s position. We are meant to watch these people as they go about their business — both the mundane and profound — never quite knowing them, but bearing witness to what will turn out to be a decisive moment in their history.

The film, which opens today, comes from New Yorker Norman Cohn and Inuit Zacharias Kunuk, following their 2000 debut.  Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner grabbed the Caméra d’Or at Cannes; but Giese tells us the tone of the new film is more solemn and ponderous. It is based on the journals of a Danish explorer of the Arctic, from his travels there in the 1920s.

Films on such topics (films without Costner: step to the front, please, for a while at least) deserve more attention, in my humble opinion. The film debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in early September. If anyone sees it, please share your impressions.  I hope to catch it in the next couple of weeks.


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  1. Allan Stoltz said, on 1/18/07 at 1:42 am

    Google is the best search engine

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