Set in the Canadian Arctic, this is an intimate, first-hand account of how the isolated Inuit community of Cape Dorset became the internationally celebrated art capital of the North. This is the story of the success of Inuit artists who emerged from the most unlikely circumstances to capture the imaginations of people around the world.
The Baffin Island community of Cape Dorset is world-renowned for the art produced at the Inuit owned and operated Kinngait Studios. Weaving together many voices with images of iconic artworks, the film is a captivating chronicle of how art making replaced fur-trapping in the 1950s, detailing the complex relationships between the artists and their network of supporters. ‘Kinngait: Riding Light Into The World’ brings together artworks of successive generations that eloquently illustrate the immense changes experienced by Inuit to their way of life and their environment over the past half-century. Featuring hauntingly beautiful Arctic scenery and evocative music by Tanya Tagaq, Lucie Idlout and other contemporary Inuit performers.
Length: 47:50' (broadcast) 64:00' (festival version).
Today’s elders lived through the difficult beginnings of community life, witnessed the coming of modern communications and air travel and participated in the creation of Nunavut. Now they are seeing the young people of Nunavut take their place in the global village. Each program in the series tells the story of one elder and his or her relationship with one other person - a younger family member, a protégé, or someone close to the family. The dramatic lives of the elders are retold – stories that are sometimes peaceful and glorious and sometimes difficult and brutal.
Arctic anthropologist Niobe Thompson takes a journey across the North and a millennium back in time, tracing the origins of the modern Inuit in an extraordinary Arctic Odyssey from Siberia to Greenland. What he discovers along the way overturns our stereotypes of the “peaceful Eskimo” and sheds new light on the first meeting of Asiatic and European settlers in the New World.
Against the harsh Arctic magnificence of Inukjuak, Quebec Inuit elders share intimate personal stories and remarkable tales of survival as they build the first traditional seal skin boat their community has seen in more than 50 years. Once an essential vessel for travelling and hunting, the umiaq has been usurped by canoes powered with outboard motors. Traditional survival skills are melting away as rapidly as the ice caps in the North where sugar, warm houses and video games are the new necessities. UMIAQ exquisitely connects the boat's construction to building cultural cohesion through anchoring a community in its rich history. In Inuktitut with English subtitles.