This charming doc portrays a remote Inuit village – population, 59 and falling – in northern Greenland over the period of a bit more than a year. Much like its subject, this film by Sarah Gavron (‘Brick Lane’) has a leisurely, warm pace. We witness the stuff of everyday routine – school lessons, hunting, the disposal of human waste – but structural change hangs over the film too: emigration; the campaign to save a small fish factory and bring it into local ownership; thinning ice; and the lure of the distant other (witness a young man exploring Manhattan via Google Earth). It becomes clear just how empathetic and free of condescension Gavron’s film is during a striking episode when a group of cruising tourists turn up to sample the native culture. Ageing, upright Danes waffle on about how they hope things will never change, while we’re party to the locals quickly pulling on their ‘traditional’ dress and dusting down fur fripperies to sell their visitors. Eye opening and thoughtful.
Friday May 10 2013