Films of Arctic Life
Robert J. Flaherty's Nanook of the North is considered one of the greatest films of all time.

Nanook follows an Inuit (not named Nanook in real life) and his family as they live, hunt and trade in north Quebec the way their ancestors have for centuries. With no plant life, the Inuits rely entirely on hunting animals, a diet that produces stretches of hunger and hardship in the trying climate. To see Nanook in action is to enjoy a fascinating view of a lifestyle distant from ours.

Knud Rasmussen and Friedrich Dalsheim's The Wedding of Palo is the more intimate and clearly the more relaxed of the two films. In it life is still difficult for the Eskimos, but nature never looks as dangerous as it does in Nanook of the North. More often than not the focus of attention is also on the Eskimos' feelings and emotions rather than on their daily struggle for survival.

Flicker Alley's two-disc Blu-ray set collects numerous other anthropological and educational films about the time and region, as well as the indispensable "Nanook Revisited", a 1988 return to the community that reflects not only on how the people have changed but on Flaherty himself.

2xBD50 | 1080p AVC | 01:18:32, 01:12:06 | 68.8 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: none
Genre: Documentary, Drama, Romance


Blu-ray 1 - Nanook of the North

Nanook Revisited (1988) - an excellent documentary film by Claude Massot which was shot in many of the same areas where Robert J. Flaherty filmed Nanook of the North. The film shows how life in these areas has changed since 1922. In English, not subtitled. (66 min, 1080p).

Houses of the Arctic (1928) - the igloo-building sequence from Nanook of the North re-edited and titled as an educational film. With music by Frederick Hodges and intertitles. B&W. (11 min, 1080p).

Blu-ray 2 - The Wedding of Palo

Captain Kleinschmidt's Arctic Hunt (1913) - a short film by Frank E. Kleinschmidt, who led an expedition to Alaska in 1913 to gather specimens for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. With music and intertitles. B&W. (16 min, 1080p).

Primitive Love (1927) - two excerpts, Winter in the Arctic and Polar Bear and Seal, from a 1927 feature produced and directed by Frank E. Kleinschmidt. With music and intertitles. B&W. (33 min, 1080p).

Eskimo Hunters of Northwestern Alaska (1949) - this short film produced by Louis de Rochemont and photographed and directed by Kay Norton takes a look at the harsh living conditions Eskimos in Alaska once faced. With narration, not subtitled. B&W. (21 min, 1080p).

Face of the High Arctic (1953) - a short documentary film about life on Canada's Queen Elizabeth Islands. The documentary was directed by Dalton Muir for the National Film Board of Canada in 1959. With narration, not subtitled. B&W. (13 min, 1080p).