Isuma: Inuit Video Art (McGill-Queen's Native and Northern Series)
Michael Robert Evans
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Since director Zacharias Kunuk was awarded the Camera d'Or Award at Cannes in 2001, Igloolik Isuma Productions has been among the most well-known and influential indigenous film companies in the world. Isuma's premier movie, Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner) - the first-ever feature film produced by the Inuit and presented entirely in the Inuktitut language - has received numerous awards and critical acclaim.
"In Isuma Michael Evans explores multiple aspects of the production company's filmmaking, including its cultural and political stances, its embrace of folklore and respect for ancestors, and its role in the Arctic community of Igloolik. In-depth interviews with the people of Isuma and a thoughtful analysis of their films reveal how the producers combine their vision of Inuit wisdom and honour with the demands of modern filmmaking to create compelling and visually stunning films that share Inuit culture with an international audience.
Isuma: Inuit Video Art is a pragmatic, comprehensive and accessible study, bringing Isuma's Arctic to life while positioning its efforts within a larger frame of indigenous media and cultural expression."
vision, and he made the move permanent. The Isuma producers position their organization as a resistance cell, and the power structure that they are resisting is colonial Canada – and through Canada, the colonializing powers of England, France, America, and the rest of the South. The story is familiar: Canada, in an effort to strengthen its sovereignty over the northern reaches of North America, sent Royal Canadian Mounted Police patrols into the Arctic to set up small posts and to make regular
in advance. Nevertheless, the video does not follow a conspicuous plotline. The hunt provides something of a structure for the piece, but as a narrative device it is essentially different from the impending wedding and conflict between the parents that form a more obvious plot in the earlier Qaggiq. In Nunaqpa the actors are free to do what they know how to do: set up tents, hunt for game, and entertain each other. There is no climax; even the shooting of the caribou is done casually (bang! bang!
Kumaglak, the popular leader of the camp, is there; he is fifty-five years old, powerful, and confident. Also there is Tungajuak, a stranger, an evil shaman, seething with spiritual force and amused by the others around him. The two men square off in a shaman’s battle, spirit to spirit. Kumaglak chooses a young man to be his helper, and the stranger chooses Kumaglak’s own son to be his. The two men sit on the floor, facing each other, naked, their legs straight out in front of them, almost
every two years. The licence is given to a different community each time; the first was given to Repulse Bay, and the second, in 1998, was given to Pangnirtung. The story of the hunt and its controversy is the subject of Arvik! (Bowhead!). Released early in 1998, it represents an effort to show the Inuit perspective on these hunts. Arvik! differs from previous Isuma videos in important ways. The most obvious and interesting difference is that the narration in Video in Politics 157 Arvik! is
language groups – English and French – through the debates over broadcasting’s contribution to Canadian unity. He emphasizes the financial aspect of Canadian support for public broadcasting, noting the erosion of budget support for the cbc, the privatization of television production, and the introduction of new cable services (163). Ultimately, the trajectories of dwindling financial support and debates over Canadian unity versus “special status” or other delimiters resulted in the idea that