The family was, according to most sources, not a real family, but assembled from actual Inuit Eskimos who were part of that group.

It’s also amazing what the filmmaker had to endure to get this film made. What really caught me off guard was the fact that the Inuits were always fighting hunger and moving around finding ways on how to survive. I never heard of it before, and had no idea what we were going to be watching in class until it was presented.

By removing some of the reality from the whole picture, however, I sort of lost interest. Its really awesome to see footage from the time that these people did things they way they did and not to have reenactment. It was a great film and very enjoyable. It’s a fascinating documentary film in the history. I feel as if this was a great documentary because it showed the ways of life, but was very intuitive because of how he developed the film and adapted to the igloo and all his surroundings. I appreciate documentaries greatly now after watching this feature, but in my opinion, one of the most difficult nuances of viewing them is that sometimes, the ones that are older, are harder to grasp and pay attention to. Furthermore, Flaherty did manage to provide his audience with knowledge of a real, non-fictional way of living that had then passed but was still, according to him and the Inuits, worth showing. It made it seem like you were part of the tribe and Nanook himself was teaching you. I think Nanook was a great documentary. All Rights Reserved. It was an interesting documentary, and it falls into historical, ethnographic and anthropological area. However, Nanook suggested to Flaherty that they be allowed to show how they hunted before they got rifles. It’s an intriguing idea and I’m not sure that it’s something that could be remade today. Is this true? He recruited an experienced hunter of the Itivimuit tribe of Eskimos, whose name was Nanook, to be the main character in his new story. (links below) Thank you!

As far as the entertainment factor I feel that showing it to general audiences today would simply not go over well. I do wish that I hadn’t known the family was hired actors though, that almost ruined it for me. Staged or not and without dialogue it was still very interesting to me. Also, this documentary covers a the basic concepts of storytelling, it has a beginning, middle, and end; and it explores diverse human emotions. Although it may not be considered a true documentary, it was still entertaining and extremely informative, He may have done somethings that ruined it from being a documentary but he also tried not to interfere to unless it was done to make a better quality video. Instead they focus on the big picture, “We need food and shelter.” I wonder if Flaherty intended the beginning shot to portray that concept, or was it a mere coincidence? However, reading the comments that some of my classmates have put I would have to agree with what Ty said, I agree that it seemed as though Flaherty relied too much on the title cards rather than other forms of storytelling. Instead I was surprised and amazed with an extraordinary intriguing piece. The fact that Flaherty had only his wits and himself when it came to filming this made it that much better. It does demote the success realizing that he faked it but I believe that it is forgivable. I respect how determined Flaherty was to make this documentary from developing his film with melted ice to losing all his film in a fire, he never gave up his dream. Like many of my peers, I thought this documentary was going to be the most boring longest hour of my life.

One scene that I remember is when Nanook made an ice polar bear cub and teaching the young kid how to use the bow and arrow. I really enjoyed the film and found it very interesting considering how long ago it was shot. It is not necessarily something that hurts it as a film, for what it is, yet I believe it would be a more dynamic picture if it had some element of advocacy incorporated, or it may also have been a nice addition to have a greater abundance of quieter moments to balance out the hunting sequences. Free resources to assist you with your university studies! Barely ever finding food, no beds besides snow, no actual houses. The most interesting thing to me was the music. The fact that he staged some events can not be held against him, he had a story to tell and he told it the in the most effective way he could.

The film does a great job to engage and tell a story that we cannot tell if is true or false unless the public has knowledge about that culture. The film provides historical documentation of a culture that might have otherwise been forgotten. He went back and learn about cinematography and went to shot the film Nanook of The North. Title cards were all that were used to help understand certain moments, and they weren’t overbearing or annoying in any way.

Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful film with the class. I believe Nanook of The North spearheaded the world of documentary. For me, ” Nanook of the North” was an amazing, heart warming experience. Moreover, Flaherty’s craftsmanship flawlessly showcases the warmth and resilience of humanity in a … I think for what they had in equipment it was nicely made in my eyes. this is really good documentary! Nanook Of The North. Flaherty still had the work print but it was not possible to make a new negative from that print. I enjoyed it alot and glad I had the opportunity to watch it in DFM.

I really enjoyed this film, I saw it for my Documentary course and I enjoyed it. It was much more necessary for him to stage parts in order to capture what he needed to capture, otherwise, he may have missed very important details and footage. I have seen this documentary before in the past, but was never aware of the struggles Flaherty had making the film (i.e. The film overall delivered a great deal of different emotions and perspectives which blend well and intrigued me right through. I enjoyed this film quite a bit. I believe that it was definitely the beginning to man’s search for finding and learning about what’s outside of our comfort zone. I think that this was an insightful documentary and Flaherty showed what he wanted to show in terms of who the Inuit were during the time. It was very interesting looking at a relatively unknown culture from nearly a century ago. It gives me inspiration for my upcoming documentary and now I look forward to making plenty. I thought nanook of the north was very entertaining. I always wondered how they made igloos…. Other than that what I did pay attention to I liked and was really impressed. The narrative was strong enough to carry the film but at times I felt the characters lacked dynamism and that made some scenes play out like a children’s book with flat characters and simple text. I enjoyed the film because it gave a whole different look at history. Thank you. Wonderful Film! Instead I was surprised and amazed with an extraordinary intriguing piece. According to Charlie Nayoumealuk, who was interviewed in Nanook Revisited (1990), "the two women in Nanook – Nyla (Alice [?] Regardless of the re-shoots and staged scenes, Nanook of the North is as close to reality as the time and environment allowed. I had seen Nanook of the north years ago but I still enjoyed it and saw it from a different prospective.

Thanks for all the excellent comments in June 2011.

I figured it would have a lot of problems with pacing. This is the only visual record of a people who’s way of life is changed forever. It would have been nice if he had the opportunity to go back and see what they were up to 10 years from then. It had a really great pace and framing the entire time. I felt Flatherty dropped me into the Inuit culture and gave me the chance to empathize with their struggles. Although this film gets a lot of criticism for not being realistic, I actually think it is more realistic than documentaries today in the fact that he didn’t use lighting or camera angles to get a certain effect. Flaherty also exaggerated the peril to Inuit hunters with his claim, often repeated, that Allakariallak had died of starvation less than two years after the film was completed, whereas in fact he died at home, likely of tuberculosis. I really enjoyed watching Nanook of the North, it was my first silent documentary and to be honest I wasn’t too excited on watching it. The walrus hunt I mentioned. He shot his footage in 1920, when there were no rules for documentaries.” [1] In the later era, we had cinema verite (inspired by Dziga Vertov’s works) which came as close as possible to film the reality of a person rather than asking the ‘real’ subject to ‘perform’ in front of the camera. Thanks for showing it to us in class. In the Walrus scene they asked Flaherty to shoo the Walrus with the rifle he had with him,but he pretended he didn’t understand them and kept filming.

I could not imagine having to go from place to place in search of food. It was extremely well done for its time. I think once we see them get ready for bed once, that’s enough. Is it really all that different from modern documentaries? The story was interesting to follow and the documentary did a great job of taking its audience somewhere they would have never thought to look. First of all, I really enjoyed watching “Nanook of the North”. Robert Joseph Flaherty (1884-1951), the explorer and still photographer from Michigan, was the son of a mining prospector. I really love the story and how they make you feel you are actually part of it. There’s just something about learning the struggles of others and seeing them succeed that helps me respect them more. I especially how he included the dogs in the film. This Documentary show people the insight in what a film maker can achieve by thinking outside the box. I’m going to refer to it as a “serious Mockumentary”. Hello There, The way that he captured rough images of the Inuits during what was supposed to be a normal day. At the time, I was told that Flaherty staged a lot of the scenes to capture the image he wanted, which made a negative impression on me. The staging of certain scenes didn’t bother me at all because Flaherty wasn’t changing anything about their life and how they lived it, he just wanted to see things from every possible viewpoint. Even though there where a few parts that where staged i believe that Flaherty managed to show the world how different the skimp culture was back then from the rest of the world. This was my first time watching “Nanook of the North” and I must say it does have its good areas where you’re genuinely hooked into the story of Nanook. I find the whole controversy around Nanook of the North very interesting. I am glad you showed this project in class. Observers (starting with John Grierson) would come to accuse Flaherty of ignoring reality in favor of a romance that was, for all its documentary value, irrelevant. He was taking a huge risk with this project, and with great risk comes great reward. I had a love/hate feel for Nanook of The North. Despite it’s flaws and the negative vibe that has materialized over the years this first attempt at documentary storytelling affords us the only visual record of the Inuit people at that time.


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