Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny

Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny

| 52 min

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This documentary pokes fun at the ways in which Inuit people have been treated as “exotic” documentary subjects by turning the lens onto the strange behaviours of Qallunaat (the Inuit word for white people). The term refers less to skin colour than to a certain state of mind: Qallunaat greet each other with inane salutations, repress natural bodily functions, complain about being cold, and want to dominate the world. Their odd dating habits, unsuccessful attempts at Arctic exploration, overbearing bureaucrats and police, and obsession with owning property are curious indeed.

A collaboration between filmmaker Mark Sandiford and Inuit writer and satirist Zebedee Nungak, Qallunaat! brings the documentary form to an unexpected place in which oppression, history, and comedy collide.

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Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny , Mark Sandiford, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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  • writer
    Mark Sandiford
  • director
    Mark Sandiford
  • collaborating director
    Zebedee Nungak
  • producer
    Mark Sandiford
    Kent Martin
  • director of photography
    Gary Elmer
  • assistant camera
    Henry Naulaq
  • production sound
    David Poisey
  • editor
    Christopher Cooper
  • content consultant
    Zebedee Nungak
  • additional content consultant
    Lena Ellsworth
  • segment director
    Lena Ellsworth
  • story consultant
    John Kastner
  • line producer
    Sean Yeomans
  • production coordinator
    Nadia Bouffard
  • production assistant
    Sula Enuaraq
  • location graphics
    Melanie Houde
    Tony Romito
  • original music composer
    Asif Illyas
  • researcher
    Elizabeth Klinck
  • post-production
    Power Post
  • post supervisor
    Sara Thomas
  • online editor
    Doug Woods
  • colourist
    Doug Woods
  • assistant on-line editor
    Chris MacIntosh
  • re-recording mixer
    Brian Power
  • sound effects designer
    Eva Madden
  • foley artist
    Ken MacCaull
  • foley recordist
    Dan Wagner
  • dialogue editor
    Graham Colwell
  • centre administrator
    John William Lutz
  • production supervisor
    Patricia Coughran
  • marketing manager
    Amy Stewart Gallant
  • production executive
    Robin Johnston
  • vice president of documentaries
    Bob Culbert
  • interviews
    John Amagoalik
    Lori Idlout
    Alexina Kublu
    Zebedee Nungak
    Jeff Tabvahtah

  • Laura J.

    This film was so funny and poignant. What white people have done to aboriginal people is stated so clearly in this film. An award winner that everyone should see. Thank you!

    Laura J., 16 May 2020
  • Rogelio MM

    I loved this film!! It´s a wonderful way for me to see the world where I live from another side. Everybody should watch it! ¡Amé esta película! Es una forma asombrosa de ver el mundo donde vivo desde otro lado. ¡Todos deberían verlo!

    Rogelio MM, 8 Mar 2019
  • Lee

    I am a Qallunaat teacher from Cleveland, Ohio, and I've enjoyed the honor of teaching to many Inuit students via live video conference-- some in Iqaluit schools! It is so humbling to speak with humans who value the truly important aspects of humanity-- our shared biological functions, emotions, and desire for respect. Thank you for making this video testimonial to the weirdness of Qallunaat ways-- I feel that every white kid should watch a documentary like this and write a report about how it made them feel. Qujanarsuaq!

    Lee, 27 Feb 2019
  • Eric

    As one of the Qallunaat people, watching this is a tough struggle. I realize that is a pretty pathetic admission. I see the humor, irony, and wit in this examination of history and interesting reversal of roles in what actually happened. At the same I feel shame and indignation for my culture being mocked in such a way, and in a way that is part of the purpose of the doc, to understand the other side of the demeaning colonization experience. I would imagine the film makers aren't wanting to dehumanize white people, as was said near the end- the best and the worst came out of it; yet as a tool for self reflection and historical perspective shifting this is a significant piece of documentary creative presentation.

    Eric, 27 Jan 2019
  • sarahvheald

    Very much enjoyed, though of course, impressed wiht the kindness of the Inuit towards such ignorance, even as they poke fun

    sarahvheald, 26 Jan 2019

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