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American Experience: Minik Lost Eskimo [DVD] [2008] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

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Region 1 encoding. (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Directors: Axel Engstfeld
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Pbs (Direct)
  • DVD Release Date: 6 May 2008
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B001690X42
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 221,629 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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American Experience: Minik Lost Eskimo [DVD] [2008] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Ethnic cleansing and Genocide are tightly linked historically with Cultural genocide, like what Denmark committed towards the Indigenous Inuit population of Greenland/Kallallit Nunaat after WW II, so clearly documented in the recent film Eksperimentet (The Experiment) 2010. Racial violence is going like a red thread through human history. The atrocities that groups and governments have inflicted on others, each other and themselves are horrifying. It seems that this has diminished through recent times, but if left unchequed, easily reveals itself any time at full blaze whenever the chance is present. Small groups of people, and especially Indigenous peoples are the prime victims of such exploitation and destruction, today as before.
I guess there are not one single known Indigenous group that has not been subjected to sometimes well-intended, yet enforced drastic changes that has had in most cases irreversible negative consequences. During the last few centuries it was religious conquest that ruled the agenda, coupled, as in the case of Western Christian mission, with resource theft and land exploitation, sometimes outright massacres, as in the `Crusades'. Much later Science played a crucial part as takeover. Indigenous people were in most cases seen as sub-human, and it seemed therefore legal to exploit them in more or less the same way as their homelands were treated.

Ishi, the last of the Yahi, comes to mind. In 1492 there were more than 10 million Native Americans in North America. By 1910 their numbers had been reduced to 300.000.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
an important figure for American history 7 May 2008
By Jeffery Mingo - Published on
Robert Peary is a Caucasian who wants to be the first to make it to the North Pole. He brings back six Inuits to NYC and only one, a boy named Minik, survives. Usually the American Experience series covers events or famous people. It's great that the series here covers a person most won't know, but should.

The work says that Minik was horrified to learn that after a sham burial, his father's skeleton was on display at a museum. I really wonder if his situation helped to get the Indian Repatriation Act passed decades later. When he returns to an Inuit tribe and feels neither American nor Inuit, I wonder if many of the Native American children forced to attend American private schools felt the same way. This work never connects Minik's troubles with those of many indigenous people in this nation. Perhaps these parallels are not made because some say Inuits should not be lumped with American Indians of the Lower 48.

On many occasions, living Native Americans are interviewed in documentaries were Native themes appear. The American Experiment installment on Buffalo Bill interviewed a living Lakota on how Sitting Bull and other Natives must have felt in Bill's traveling show. In the documentary "Grizzly Man," a Native man speaks about how Natives try to avoid grizzlies, rather than embrace them. This work had no Inuit scholar who, through research and not essentialism, could have connected the dots about Inuits of the time and their contact with Americans.

This documentary starts with Peary's contact with Minik, but it illustrates who their paths merged and briefly later came together. This work makes no mention of the African-American Arctic explorer Matthew Henson. This documentary never explains how Peary may have harmed this Black man as he also may have harmed Minik's Inuit relatives and peers. In the documentary that I saw on Henson, I thought it was suggested that Peary did reach the North Pole. However, this work says he flatly did not.

This work focused on a diverse individual. It covers fascinating issues at the crossroads of history, anthropology, ethnic studies, and more. I recommend this.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Well done 25 Nov 2012
By Laurie - Published on
Verified Purchase
Good documentary on native people's and the race to the North Pole. It's a bit slow at times but overall we done
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