NANOOK OF THE NORTH
Directed by Robert J. Flaherty
Not a story, in the accepted sense of the word. Just an Eskimo's fight for existence in a land where food is the only problem. Long wastes of silver snow, countless miles of frozen sea, the wail of the wind and the howl of the sledge dogs - all of these are in the picture. The realism is so intense that even a summer audience gets that thirty-five below zero feeling. It should make, therefore, ideal entertainment for the dog days.
Nanook, a great hunter, and his family are the all-star cast. There is no acting, no keeping in front of the camera. The cast, with the spectator, seems to forget that there is a camera! Nanook spears fish, and kills them with a well-directed bite - he harpoons walrus and seal and eats of his kill without the formality of cooking. Even the four-month old baby eats raw meat. And, at the trading post, the three-year old revels in castor oil - a sight to astonish the average boy who has suffered the affliction.
One learns much about this race of northern nomads. They have no beards, although they never shave. And they are gentle and affectionate, despite the red-bloodedness of their diet. Little can be said of their family life, which seems a bit rabbity and intimate. But much can be told of their bravery and fearlessness and good-sportsmanship, certainly admirable qualities.
The picture was made in the Hudson Bay country - four hundred
miles from the farthest outposts of civilization. The direction
and the almost faultless photography are the work of Robert J.
Flaherty, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and an explorer
of some note. He has given to civilization a gift and lesson
- and every family should profit by them. An exceptional opportunity
to study a primitive race as it actually lives.
Video source: Amazon, Facets
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