Nanook of the North

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Time Out says

Flaherty's pioneering ethnographic documentary is structured as a year in the life of an Inuit hunter (Nanook) and his family in the tundra east of the Hudson Bay. In terms of authenticity, much was staged, contrived and traditionalised (Flaherty would point to his subtitle: 'A Story of Life and Love in the Actual Arctic'), but these characters are plainly 'playing' themselves, and scenes such as the igloo-building manifest a sage grace and skill. The simplicity of Flaherty's outlook is reflected in Nanook himself, the film-maker's equal and intimate, while his intrinsic naivety and exoticism for once detract nothing from the truth of his story - the primal struggle for survival in extremis. Nanook himself only made it through another year before dying of starvation on a hapless hunting trek. (The film, which originally ran approximately 70 minutes, was re-issued in 1947 in a 50-minute sound version, produced by Herbert Edwards, with narration written by Ralph Schoolman and spoken by Berry Kröger, and music by Rudolph Schramm.

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