October 13, 2008

Inuit in Arctic Tale

A nature film has a Native connection even though it doesn't show or mention any people on-screen.

Win DVD:  Arctic TaleFrom the producers of March of the Penguins comes the awe-inspiring animal adventure in the coolest place on earth, arriving on DVD on September 8, 2008.

In this heart-warming film that follows the real-life adventure of two animal friends, ARCTIC TALE portrays the wild beauty of the Arctic and its inhabitants, available on DVD on September 8 2008 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

From National Geographic Films, the producers of March of the Penguins, and Paramount Vantage, the studio that brought you An Inconvenient Truth, ARCTIC TALE follows the story of Nanu, a polar bear cub and Seela, a walrus pup, through their exhilarating and moving struggles for survival.

Brought to life by narrator Queen Latifah, viewers will be entranced as she tells the story of two very different Arctic creatures who live in this vast snow kingdom at the top of the world. Armed only with their natural instincts and mothers’ guidance, these inspiring animals face countless trials and challenges in a beautiful icebound world that is rapidly melting beneath them.
The lack of people in Arctic Tale is misleading. Not only did people hold the equipment needed to film the animals, but they provided a whole support structure. Despite the film's vision of an uninhabited and untouched Arctic, the region has been occupied for centuries--by the Inuit.

Back to Nature:  The Extreme Production of Arctic TaleRavetch and Robertson owe their film production success—and basic survival—to their local Inuit guides. The Inuit, the indigenous people of the Canadian Arctic, are expert trackers and hunters. “We would always work closely with them. They were able to find the animals quickly,” explains Ravetch. “We were told by the local Inuit not to swim with the walruses because that is an animal that could knock our heads off with one smack of its tusks and suck our brains out.”

The couple’s early trips to the Arctic lasted about two months at a time. As they learned more about the various behaviors of walruses and bears, they would stay anywhere from six to eight months a year.

For the better part of a decade, Ravetch and Robertson were based out of a town called Igloolik in the northern Foxe Basin of Canada.
Among other things, the Inuit told the filmmakers when the weather was good and led them to the animals. As with the Sherpas on an Everest expedition, Europeans get the glory but indigenous people made it possible.

I'd say Arctic Tale has more of a story than March of the Penguins. And the photography may be more impressive. It's well worth seeing. Rob's rating:  8.0 of 10.

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

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