Monday, August 31, 2009

the necessities of life

seal. caribou. geese... everything you need; all the necessities of life.

this is tivii's [natar ungalaaq; atanarjuat; the fast runner] world in ce quu'il faut pour vivre [2008] as explained to young kaki [paul-andré brasseur]. extracted from it unexpectedly & thrust into a culturally polarised world in a TB sanatorium in 1950s quebec far from where his value as a family provider in the tradition of the great hunters of his arctic people who run with the migratory birds is virtually castrated.

isolated in an alien place where language & custom provide inpenetrable walls, tivii's decreased desire to live gradually supercedes even the severity of his physical illness as returning home becomes increasingly less tangible... until in spite of the ironic god-fearing inanimity of the sterile environment one woman finds away to reach through.

this is a story of hope couched in enormous beauty. probably one of the most powerful intercultural demonstrations of acceptance of the similarities and differences which bind not just the aboriginal peoples of canada with whites but all creeds/colours, i've seen.

i had the great pleasure & honour to meet natar ungalaaq while he was in sydney for possible worlds canadian film festival to present both this film in which he stars and also before tomorrow as a representative of the arnait video collective. his performance on and off screen is incredibly inspiring with the gentle subtlety of a master painter.

an incredible amabassador for his inuit people on the back of two incredible films, i am proud to now call him friend & look forward to building an igloo with him in 45 minutes, and sharing the sights, sounds & stories of his breathtakingly beautiful people & country. someday soon.

[film photos courtesy of the wonderful interwebs]

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