Thursdays at the Handwerker: Nanook Revisited

03/19/2008

Contributed by Cheryl Kramer

On Thursday, March 20, at 6.30 p.m., there will be a screening of Nanook Revisited, followed by a discussion titled, "Perception: Aesthetics and Expectations," with student-curator R.B. Schlather '08.

Robert Flaherty's Nanook of the North (1922) is generally considered to be the first feature-length motion picture to focus on the drama of real lives being lived. Here, Flaherty famously chronicled the struggles for survival of an Inuit family in Canada's Hudson Bay region.

In Nanook Revisited, French documentarian Claude Massot journeys back to Inukjiak, the site of Flaherty's filming, to investigate the present-day life of the Inuit community there.

Recent years have seen a fair amount of Flaherty-bashing among film and cultural studies scholars. Critics point to the fact that a good deal of Nanook was staged or re-created to fit Flaherty's unremittingly romantic notions of his subjects, and to please audiences.

Nanook Revisited discusses these documentary liberties at length; but the filmmakers also reveal surprising things about the present-day Inuit reception of the film as a tenuous and precious glimpse of their cultural past.

This event is in conjunction with the student-curated exhibition, Of the People: Inuit Sculpture from the Collection of Mary and Fred Widding, on display until April 6. All Handwerker Gallery events are free and open to the public.

For more information contact R.B. Schlather at [mailto:rschlat1@ithaca.edu].

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