This film is
no longer available
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This film is
no longer available
in our catalog

People of a Feather

Filmmaker : Joel Heath Canada, 2011 PRODUCTION : Joel Heath
English, Inuktitut English, French

About this film


Featuring stunning footage from seven winters in the Arctic, People of a Feather takes you through time into the world of the Inuit on the Belcher Islands in Canada's Hudson Bay. Connecting past, present and future is a unique relationship with the eider duck. Eider down, the warmest feather in the world, allows both Inuit and bird to survive harsh Arctic winters.

Traditional life is juxtaposed with modern challenges as both Inuit and eiders confront changing sea ice and ocean currents disrupted by the massive hydroelectric dams powering New York and eastern North America. Inspired by Inuit ingenuity and the technology of a simple feather, the film is a call to action to implement energy solutions that work with nature.

Tënk's opinion

A delicate balance between being a nature, ethnographic and environmental documentary, this is a film that I urge all Quebecois to watch. Beautifully shot and deeply immersing the viewer into the life of both the Inuit peoples and the eider ducks of Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, this film profoundly inspired me to take action in solidarity and support of the communities and sea ice ecosystems in Hudson Bay, and I hope it will do the same for you,

Stunningly filmed, viewers are patiently shown the time immemorial symbiotic relationship between the ducks and the peoples and how this interconnection has been severely degrading over the last 100 years, in large part due to the development of the Hydro-Quebec dam projects in the Arctic. A much needed tool for any conversation about how we, in Quebec, receive the daily energy we use, who is impacted and at what environmental costs, The film is a gorgeous reminder that everything is connected, and that thousands of kilometers of distance should not be a reason to avoid this profound truth.

Amy Miller
Filmmaker and producer


Joel Heath

Born in St. John's, Newfoundland, Joel Heath has long nurtured passion for both arts and science. A leading Canadian ecologist, Joel worked in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, studying effects of climate change on Arctic sea ice ecology. For his Ph.D., Joel worked with Inuit, developing time lapse monitoring technology and an underwater camera system to capture the world's first images of eiders diving below the sea ice. This led to Joel's involvement in BBC's Planet Earth: Ice Worlds and Frozen Planet. Joel Heath has been leading one of Canada's largest International Polar Year outreach projects. His research was recently published as the cover story in Proceedings of the Royal Society. During his time in the Arctic, Joel listened to the Inuit tell stories of a troubled future due to nearby hydroelectric dams. To help share these stories, Joel Heath collaborated with the community of Sanikiluaq to found Sanikiluaq Running Pictures and began a five-year process to create his first feature documentary, People of a Feather.