Film classic 'Nanook of the North' to be screened March 1 at Trabant Theatre
Image courtesy of the American Geographical Society.
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6:05 p.m., Feb. 23, 2009----“Nanook of the North,” the silent film released in 1922 documenting the life of the Inuit people in Arctic Canada, will be presented Sunday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Trabant University Theatre.

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The film, the first feature-length documentary, was produced by American filmmaker Robert Flaherty, who had worked as a prospector and explorer in northern Quebec, where he became intrigued by the Inuit and their lifestyle.

The film was financed by Revillon Freres, a French fur company that had a network of trading posts in northern Quebec.

While Flaherty's work was considered ground-breaking, he also has been criticized for staging scenes in the film and distorting reality by, for example, encouraging “Nanook” (an Inuit whose real name was Allakariallak) to hunt as his ancestors had rather than with the gun he normally would have used.

Kevin Kerrane, professor of English, will deliver an interpretive lecture about the film and its significance prior to the showing.

Included in his presentation will be examples from a collection of Inuit sketches that were collected by Flaherty while he was on the film shoot in 1920-1921. The sketches recently were uncovered from the archives of the American Geographical Society in New York City. This will be the first time some of the sketches will have been shown in public.

In 1989, “Nanook of the North” was one of the first 25 films to be selected for preservation in the National Film Registry, which was established that year at the U.S. Library of Congress.

Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 films to the National Film Registry that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant, to be preserved for all time.

The film presentation is sponsored by the William S. Carlson International Polar Year Events.

Article by Tracey Bryant