Review: ‘Nanook of the North’

Nanook of the North is the granddaddy (or the Eskimo equivalent) of all documentaries and widely extolled as the classic in its field. Despite the comparatively primitive technique and the natural difficulties of shooting a film in the frozen Hudson Bay wastelands, every minute of Nanook lives up to its reputation.

Nanook of the North is the granddaddy (or the Eskimo equivalent) of all documentaries and widely extolled as the classic in its field. Despite the comparatively primitive technique and the natural difficulties of shooting a film in the frozen Hudson Bay wastelands, every minute of Nanook lives up to its reputation.

Yarn holds tremendous interest in detailing the life of an Eskimo family through the seasons of the year.

Ralph Schoolman’s narrative hits the proper note. It treats the Eskimos with dignity, yet with a sense of humor, and it never gets pompous. Berry Kroeger likewise sticks to a simple, friendly, yet thoroughly dignified style in speaking the narration.

Nanook of the North

Production

Revillon Freres. Director Robert Flaherty; Screenplay Robert Flaherty, Carl Stearns Clancy; Camera Robert Flaherty; Editor Herbert Edwards (1947); Music Rudolf Schramm (1947)

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1922. Running time: 55 MIN.

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