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Nanook Of The North [VHS]
Robert Flaherty directs this film, originally intended as a documentary rather than drama, featuring the day-to-day lives of Eskimo Nanook and his family. Nanook himself died shortly after the film was completed. A new musical score is provided by Timothy Brock, and in the additional 8-minute feature 'Flaherty on Film', widow Frances recalls her husband Robert's life and work.
In 1920, explorer and American anthropologist Robert J Flaherty travelled alone, with camera in hand, to the remote Canadian tundra. There, for over a year, he lived with Eskimos, documenting their daily lives and returning to his editing studio with the raw footage. The result of his rigorous study was groundbreaking; with Nanook of the North, Flaherty pioneered both a new cinematic genre, the narrative documentary, and created a timeless drama of human perseverance under the harshest of conditions. Flaherty obviously understood the charisma of one Eskimo in particular, Nanook, and much of the film's warmth, humour, and charm come from the mutual respect and sympathy between the filmmaker and his subject. Flaherty possessed an acute eye for simple detail and his presentation of the stark climate and unique culture remains breathtaking. Flaherty also had a knack for editing and manipulation, and along with pioneering a new cinematic form, Nanook too raised all of the problematic ethical dilemmas that still face documentary makers. Many of the famous sequences--the seal hunt, the building of the igloo--were actually staged for "authenticity" purposes, thus starting debates on whether documentaries could truly capture truth or reality. Then there's the presence of the camera and whether that in itself alters or disrupts the natural behaviour of its subjects. Yet, despite Flaherty's tamperings, there's no denying the film's power, its wondrous sense of adventure, and the touching portrait of one of cinema's truly courageous heroes. --Dave McCoy, Amazon.com
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18 October 2016
Amazing that a documentary of this quality should be made under those conditions before the invention of easy hand held cameras. The logistics involved in the making must have been incredible. One really gets a feel for Nanook and his family.
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Most recent customer reviews
I am really in two minds about Robert J. Flaherty’s celebrated 1922 silent ‘documentary’ film, Nanook of the North.Read more
Good copy, arrived on time stated. I thought it was the book it is the pictures from the film so be careful if ordering this copy but still worth the money and interesting.
I wonder if 200 years on we will be watching this with as much fascination as if we could be seeing the coronation of Queen Victoria; life on the farm in 15th century Holland;...Read more
only four stars for a five star film which it is also it,s an import but all region so no worries there the film is about a family of native AMERICANS who we call ESKIMOS and...Read more