Nanook of the North

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Nanook of the North is a non-fiction documentary directed by Robert Flaherty in 1922.A documentary is not scripted and is simply the recording of everyday life and in this case the everyday life of Nanook, Nahla, his wife, Ollie his eldest son and Rainbow his youngest child.Flaherty, as the director makes some interesting choices in the way that he wants the audience to view this family and Nanook and his family add some interesting qualities as well.
Flaherty wants the audience to be familiar with the surroundings of this Eskimo family and therefore introduces the audience to the setting in the opening scene.We become familiar with the coldness that the Eskimos must endure with shots of snow and ice on the lake.We also become familiar with other occupants of this land such as the different animals.Flaherty chooses to use the animals to help us relate to the surroundings and the changing of the seasons.After we are accustomed to the land we are introduced to Nanook and his family.
This film values the importance of family and how they live and work together.Flaherty chooses to use a stationary camera in most of his shots and is not focusing on the personality of the family but rather their lifestyle and how they contribute to one another.I noticed that many of the shots are of what the family is doing, their actual actions and so their faces are usually left out of the frame.The people would advance towards the camera rather than the camera going to them.I think that this enables the audience to see that this family is welcoming us into their lives and wants us to witness what they are all about.
Nanook and his family want to be represented as a loving, playful and helpful family.There are many scenes of them working together to get food and so forth.Also the shot of Nahla and Rainbow as she kisses him shows love.The children are playful and are seen playing with the puppies.They seem to be a very happ…

Nanook of the North

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In 1922, Robert Flaherty debuted his epic ethnographic film entitled Nanook of the North. At the time, nobody knew of the impact that it would have on the entire industry of filmmaking. One of the innovators of the ethnographic film, Flaherty took his camera into places that no one had ever imagined. His expedition into the Arctic brought forth a new style of filmmaking that is still used in many films today.
Thefirst thing that everybody must notice about Nanook of the North is the cinematography. At this point in the era of film the equipment was obviously quite primitive when compared to everything that we have today. This, however, did not hinder Flaherty in any way as his film still contains many of the most breath-taking images still available for viewing. For example, the opening sequence to the film contains an incredible deep-focus shot of the icebergs floating around in the sea, as the sun is high above the water. Everything in the shot seems to be in place and a type of peace is established before you are introduced to the film's main character, Nanook. Later in the film the camera revisits similar shots using the barren landscape behind the action to further reveal the desolation of the Eskimo people. All you can see is snow and ice for miles and miles as the subjects engage in their activity. Civilization has not touched these
people, and therefore the landscape is peaceful behind the action, even though the Eskimo people are constantly struggling with their natural environment.
Flaherty was also able to pull off many other things than beautiful imagery with his camera work, though. As a matter of fact, the key to the success of Nanook of the North was his innovative camera techniques. In David Parkinson's History of Film, Parkinson states “shot with a'participatory camera', the scenic footage and dramatic reconstructions of Nanook of the North captured the spirit of the Eskimo lifestyle thro…