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Nanook of the north close study 2016

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Nanook of the north close study 2016

  1. 1. How authentic do you believe the depiction of Inuit life in Nanook of the North is? Nanook of the North Close Study
  2. 2. Authenticity in Documentary  Flaherty altered many things during the filming of NOTN  Nanook’s hunting prowess and position within the group were greatly exaggerated, inflating his importance making him appear to be a larger than life hero.  He ‘westernises’ elements of Inuit culture, hand picking a more attractive woman to play his wife while refusing to acknowledge Nanook’s polygamous relationship with his second wife.  The relationships depicted reinforce the western ideology of the traditional family, with the father as provider and the mother as the traditional caregiver.  He exaggerates the ‘primitive’ nature of the Inuit culture  Nanook knew how a gramophone worked before the encounter on camera  Inuit's had also abandoned the dangerous practice of hunting with spears, opting instead to hunt with guns.  His trading is also reduced to “knives beads and bright coloured candy” making him seem childlike and innocent
  3. 3. Authenticity in Documentary  Many of the actions were repeated or recreated for camera, such as the walrus hunt and the igloo building.  In conversation with Nanook before filming started Flaherty said:  Think about John Grierson’s quote  Documentary is the creative treatment of actuality  How much actuality is left in Nanook of the North?“Do you know that you and your men may have to give up making a kill, if it interferes with my film? You remember it is the picture of you hunting the walrus I want and not their meat.” Nanook replied “Not a man will stir, not a harpoon will be thrown until you give the sign. It is my word”
  4. 4. Work and Play Sequence As a class we will analyse the following sequence answering these questions.  What techniques are used in the following scene to romanticise the Eskimo lifestyle?  How have documentary techniques been used to increase emotion in the scene?  Remember to use technical vocabulary and refer to mise-en-scene, sound and editing
  5. 5. Nanook of the North Close Study Task In groups look at your allocated scene and analyse it answering the following questions.  What techniques are used the following scene to romanticise the Eskimo lifestyle?  How have documentary techniques been used to increase emotion in the scene?  How has Flaherty mediated this scene? What effect does this have on the audience?  You will need to create a presentation on this scene during the lesson and for homework. You will give this presentation in your next lesson.

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