The NFB's 14th Oscar®-nominated film.
This documentary shows the inspiration behind Inuit sculpture. The Inuit approach to the work is to release the image the artist sees imprisoned in the rough stone. The film centers on an old legend about the carving of the image of a sea spirit to bring food to a hungry camp.
Please note that this is an archival film that makes use of the word “Eskimo,” an outdated and offensive term. While the origin of the word is a matter of some contention, it is no longer used in Canada. The term was formally rejected by the Inuit Circumpolar Council in 1980 and has subsequently not been in use at the NFB for decades. This film is therefore a time-capsule of a bygone era, presented in its original version. The NFB apologizes for the offence caused.
This short documentary is a portrait of Andrew Qappik, a world-renowned Inuit printmaker from Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Originally inspired by images in the comic books he read as a child, Andrew now finds his subjects in the stories, traditions and day-to-day events of his world.
In I Can Make Art Like Andrew Qappik, he captivates his student audience by creating a soapstone relief print before their very eyes. Then it's the kids' turn. They explore Andrew's symbolic imagery - and their own - as they each create a self-portrait relief point.
This full-length documentary examines the work of Krzysztof Wodiczko, an artist who has taken his art out of museums to project it onto the sides of buildings. The film explores Wodiczko’s philosophy of art as social contract and shows examples of his provocative work, which has lit up walls from London's Trafalgar Square to Zion Square in Jerusalem.
In this revealing study of Norval Morrisseau, filmed as he works among the lakes and woodlands of his ancestors, we see a remarkable Indigenous artist who emerged from a life of obscurity in the North American bush to become one of Canada's most renowned painters. Morrisseau the man is much like his paintings: vital and passionate, torn between his Ojibway heritage and the influences of the white man's world. Jack Pollock, the Toronto art gallery owner who discovered Morrisseau's paintings in the early 1960s, comments on what makes them so unique.
This short film tells the story of Isaci Etidloie, a man well-known in the Arctic for his pedigree and prowess in shaping old rocks. His creations often serve to recount taboo stories and Inuit myths. Stories from Our Land 2.0 is the latest edition of the NFB's Indigenous short film inititiative. This edition helped four Inuit youth hone the creative skills and tell their stories, offering viewers insightful perspectives on life in Nunavut.
This short documentary recounts a 2000-km expedition undertaken by 7 rangers (both Inuit and non-Native) and a female filmmaker to raise a flag on the northernmost tip of Canadian soil, 412 km from the North Pole. With a mesmerizing soundtrack by Nunavut-born singer Tanya Tagaq and spectacular footage of the Arctic landscape, This Land captures the epic adventure with raw immediacy.
In the spirit of the 1949 NFB classic How to Build an Igloo, this short film records Dean Ittuksarjuat as he constructs the traditional Inuit home. From the first cut of the snow knife, to the carving of the entrance after the last block of snow has been placed on the roof, this is an inside-and-out look at the entire fascinating process.Stories from Our Land: 1.5 gave 6 Nunavut filmmakers the opportunity to each create a 5-minute short. Each film had to be made without the use of interviews or narration while telling a northern story from a northern perspective. The project was a collaboration between the NFB and the Nunavut Film Development Corporation.
Dancing Around the Table: Part One provides a fascinating look at the crucial role Indigenous people played in shaping the Canadian Constitution. The 1984 Federal Provincial Conference of First Ministers on Aboriginal Constitutional Matters was a tumultuous and antagonistic process that pitted Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau and the First Ministers—who refused to include Indigenous inherent rights to self-government in the Constitution—against First Nations, Inuit and Métis leaders, who would not back down from this historic opportunity to enshrine Indigenous rights.In a now infamous exchange, Kwakwaka’wakw lawyer and lead negotiator Bill Wilson states that he has two children who want to become lawyers and prime minister. When he says that they are Indigenous women, the male audience bursts into laughter, and Trudeau replies, “Tell them I’ll stick around until they’re ready.” Over 30 years later, Bill Wilson’s daughter, Jody Wilson-Raybould, became Canada’s first Indigenous minister of justice and attorney general in the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The conference was Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s last constitutional meeting before he resigned and the process was handed over to his successor, Brian Mulroney.
In this short film, artist Jobie Weetaluktuk turns his gaze on his family and the power of ritual through the story of a young woman and her unplanned child.In Inukjuak, an Inuit community in the Eastern Arctic, a baby boy has come into the world and they call him Timuti, a name that recurs across generations of his people, evoking other Timutis, alive and dead, who will nourish his spirit and shape his destiny.
This short documentary serves as a quiet elegy for a way of life, which exists now only in the memories of those who experienced it. Bonnie Ammaaq and her family remember it vividly. When Bonnie was a little girl, her parents packed up their essentials, bundled her and her younger brother onto a long, fur-lined sled and left the government-manufactured community of Igloolik to live off the land, as had generations of Inuit before them.
In this short film, Inuk artist Asinnajaq plunges us into a sublime imaginary universe—14 minutes of luminescent, archive-inspired cinema that recast the present, past and future of her people in a radiant new light.Diving into the NFB’s vast archive, she parses the complicated cinematic representation of the Inuit, harvesting fleeting truths and fortuitous accidents from a range of sources—newsreels, propaganda, ethnographic docs, and work by Indigenous filmmakers. Embedding historic footage into original animation, she conjures up a vision of hope and beautiful possibility.
Ages 13 to 18
Indigenous Studies - Arts
Indigenous Studies - Identity/Society
Warning: Smoking and use of the word “Eskimo,” an outdated and offensive term.
This documentary features the process and conception of Inuit carving. This film can motivate deeper learning about the worldview of Inuit and their ways of knowing, being and doing. Students can research, discuss and create projects on the significant role of stories, beliefs and spirituality in art creation. Students can discuss how artists deeply connect with their medium, as well as the effort it takes to find stones that will be used to create works of art. Students can further explore the essential role that seals play in Inuit life.