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Archive

14'

Canada, 2017

Production : ONF / NFB

French, English

French, English


Best Indigenous Short Film Award 2018 -Skábmagovat Film Festival, Finland


Experimental



Synopsis


"My father was born in a spring igloo made of snow and skins. I was born in a hospital. I had jaundice and two teeth." Inuit artist Asinnajaq plunges us into a sublime imaginary universe. In twelve minutes of luminous cinema inspired by archival documents, she revisits the past and present of her people in order to imagine the future in a new and striking light. Using the vast archives of the NFB, she examines the complex history of Inuit representation on film by gleaning half-truths and serendipitous events from a variety of sources: newsreels, propaganda films, ethnographic documentaries, and works by Indigenous filmmakers. Embedding historic footage into original animation, she conjures up a vision of hope and beautiful possibility.

A word from Tënk


If Asinnajaq self-identifies as “a small caribou woman”, it’s because, clearly, we are what we eat. And caribou meat is her favourite. Once ingested, caribou gives her a very special sort of strength.

It is the same unexpected force that the filmmaker draws upon as she pulls from the NFB's bank of archival images, offering her new perspectives, as much colonial and distorted as they are valorizing and representative of Inuit Nunangat (a term that means homeland in Inuktitut and refers to the various Inuit of Canada, divided into four distinct regions). The archival images collected span more than a century of Inuit history. Dedicated to her people, this double ode honours both the rapid changes Inuit face, if only in the transformation of their types of dwelling, as well as the traditions that do persist, such as the practice of fishing, raising the question at the heart of her work: what makes us Inuit?

The last of the three millennia represented in her short film–which she refers to as a science fiction documentary–is a future life animation created by visual artist and electronic music designer Patrick Doan.

Asinnajaq wanted to make a film that was "hopeful, poetic and enlightening" and she has undoubtedly succeeded in this soft and touching work through the succinct narration that easily gives way to silence and music: she chooses to trust the audience to understand and find out for themselves.

 

 

Gabrielle Ouimet
Tënk's Artistic Director

 

 

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