Adventurer turned documentarian Robert Flaherty spent a year living with Inhuit hunters in the harsh conditions of Canada’s Hudson Bay, and emerged with an enchanting, controversial film that’s perhaps the father of all documentaries.
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Undeniably fascinating. The straightforward approach set a precedent that is still imitated to this day. Nanook of the North always comes up when discussing the question "what is a documentary?" and how much "truth" do we seek when viewing a documentary?
A beautiful film! As cinema's first documentary, it left a complex legacy about the relation between film and life. If you turn real people into characters, you're already simplifying reality. If you want continuity editing, you're already breaking it. But the film that resulted here is so enchanting that it's easy to see how concerns about 100% accuracy can get carried away on a sea of applause. A touchstone.
wow. i'm shocking and impressed. i've seen many of hundreds nature documentaries but this one maybe the best with storytelling and many details; there is no doubt that it's better than modern ones. the only negative point that it deserves better ending. still a masterpiece.
It's movies like this that remind me why I love cinema. Exiting, profoundly entertaining, and way ahead of it's time. I was suprised how my family members (who love the transformers movies) actually took an interest in it. An undeniable classic.
While the fact that large parts of the film were staged is still troubling to the modern concept of the documentary, what really stands out about "Nanook of the North," as Adam Cook, Kurt Walker and myself were earlier discussing, is the abundance of empathy and lack of condescension in Flaherty's direction. Consider how demonized the "Indians" in Hollywood's westerns for the next fifty years would be in comparison.