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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Credits
  • writer
    Mark Sandiford
  • director
    Mark Sandiford
  • producer
    Mark Sandiford
    Kent Martin
  • director of photography
    Gary Elmer
  • production sound
    David Poisey
  • editor
    Christopher Cooper
  • content consultant
    Zebedee Nungak
  • story consultant
    John Kastner
  • original music composer
    Asif Illyas
  • researcher
    Elizabeth Klinck
  • re-recording mixer
    Brian Power
  • foley artist
    Ken MacCaull

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  • 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, wryly...so impressed wiht the kindness of the Inuit towards such ignorance, even as they poke fun

    sarahvheald, 26 Jan 2019