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Of the North

Of the North

Dominic Gagnon, 74 min.

Canada, 2015

Of the North

Slaughtering whales, wrestling fights and polar bears. Life in the northernmost place on earth, documented like a 'Nanook of The North 2.0' with no filters by the inhabitants themselves.

The history of documentary is rich in films that depict life in distant and exotic places – and preferably in ways that reflect our own (Western) notions of human diversity. This one does the exact opposite. A careful and controversial collage of clattering, powerful and at times strangely beautiful clips, filmed and uploaded by the inhabitants themselves in the planet's northernmost and most inaccessible regions, like a critical corrective to the docu-classic 'Nanook of the North'. And where Robert Flahery's film today is criticised for its manipulative and exoticising look at the Inuit (how many igloos really have open cross sections when a camera isn't around?), it is the inhabitants themselves who operate the camera in a video mosaic of unfiltered life in the Arctic. Dominic Gagnon is the YouTube era's answer to an anthropological outsider artist, and confronts us with our possible prejudices. Even those that you did not even know you had. A modern exercise in self-representation, and a problematic film that prefers to confront its own contradictions than wrap them into political correctness.

Director: Dominic Gagnon
Original Title: Of the North
Country: Canada
Year: 2015
Running time: 74 min
Language: English without subtitles
Tags: Artists & Auteurs Art
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Producer: Dominic Gagnon
Production Company: Dominic Gagnon
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