Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut April 19, 2017 - 8:30 am

On April 19, National Canadian Film Day 150 brings films to Nunavut capital

Screenings will include works by Inuit filmmakers and première of Iqaluit

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Noah, Natar Ungalaaq, befriends Carmen, Marie-Josée Croze, who is trying to find out what happened to her husband in Benoît Pilon's Iqaluit which has its Nunavut première April 19 at the Astro Theatre in Iqaluit. (HANDOUT PHOTO)
Noah, Natar Ungalaaq, befriends Carmen, Marie-Josée Croze, who is trying to find out what happened to her husband in Benoît Pilon's Iqaluit which has its Nunavut première April 19 at the Astro Theatre in Iqaluit. (HANDOUT PHOTO)
You can see Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s Lumaajuuq, an animated short about the dangers of revenge, based on a portion of the Inuit legend “The Blind Boy and the Loon,
You can see Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s Lumaajuuq, an animated short about the dangers of revenge, based on a portion of the Inuit legend “The Blind Boy and the Loon," as part of the National Canadian Film Day screenings April 19 in Iqaluit.

If you’re in Iqaluit April 19, you can share in the National Canadian Film Day 150, a one-day celebration of Canadian cinema, part of the federal government’s Canada 150 events.

The free events will take place across every province and territory April 19 for “the largest film festival in the world. Ever,” according to a news release on the film day.

In Iqaluit, as part of these Canada-wide screenings, you can see a variety of short and long films, which will screen at Ecole des Trois Soleils, the Iqaluit Food Center and the Astro Theatre.

Among the films that will be shown: Iqaluit, a new film by Benoît Pilon, filmed in 2015 in Iqaluit, which will have its Nunavut première April 19.

Pilon is the director of the 2008 film Ce Qu’il Faut Pour Vivre, or The Necessities of Life, a period piece in which actor Natar Ungalaaq plays an Inuk man confined to a tuberculosis sanatorium near Quebec City in 1952. Ungalaaq won two acting awards for that performance.

In Pilon’s new film, a woman named Carmen arrives in Iqaluit to tend to her husband, Gilles, a construction worker who has been seriously injured.

Trying to get to the bottom of what happened, she strikes up a friendship with Noah, her husband’s Inuk friend, played by Ungalaaq. Christine Tootoo of Rankin Inlet also performs in Iqaluit.

Inuit filmmakers are included among the many films which will be shown April 19 in Iqaluit.

The films include Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s Lumaajuuq, an animated short about the dangers of revenge, based on a portion of the Inuit legend “The Blind Boy and the Loon.”

Inukshop and Timuti from Jobie Weetaluktuk are also on the program.

In Inukshop, Weetaluktuk mixes archival and new footage to make a statement about the appropriation of Inuit culture throughout history, while in Timuti he looks at the power of ritual through the story of a young woman and her unplanned child in Inukjuak.

And there’s Breaths, a short by Nyla Innuksuk, which looks at singer-songwriter Susan Aglukark and her voice.

Among the other films, there’s Before the Streets, filmed in Atikamekw, in which Shawnouk, who has killed a man, flees to his Atikamekw village where he goes on a journey of self-healing,

It’s the first film to be shot in the Atikamekw language,

But, like Before the Streets, most of films on the festival schedule in Iqaluit are subtitled or without dialogue, so accessible to all.

Admission for all the screenings listed below is free.

• 9 a.m. at Ecole des Trois Soleils :

Ta parole est en jeu les Franco-Nunavois, by Will Cyr;

The Bear Facts, by Jonathan Wright; and,

The Outlaw League, by Jean Beaudry.

• 3 p.m. Astro Theatre, sponsored by the Toronto International Film Festival and Nunatta Sunakkuntaangit Museum:

Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner

• 6 p.m. Iqaluit Food Centre–Qayuqtuvik:

Where the river widens, by Zach Greenleaf

I am but a little woman, by Gyu Oh;

Breaths by Nyla Innuksuk;

The Bear Facts, by Jonathan Wright;

Lumaajuuq, by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril;

Inukshop, by Jobie Weetaluktuk; and,

Tumuli, by Jobie Weetaluktuk.

6 p.m. Astro Theatre:

Astro 1, sponsored by Quebéc Cinéma, l’Association des francophones de Nunavut, Government of Nunavut—

Traditional Healing, by Raymond Caplin;

Vistas-boxed in, by Shane Belcourt; and,

Before the streets. by Chloé Leriche, who will be at the screening.

Astro 2, sponsored by ReelCanada and Qaggaviut—

The Hunter;

Ingalangaittukuurvik;

Kajutaijuq; and,

Two Lovers and a Bear.

8 p.m. at Astro 1, sponsored by Reel Canada, Piksuk Media and ACPAV—Iqaluit, by Benoît Pilon, who will attend the screening.

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(4) Comments:

#1. Posted by Interesting on April 19, 2017

I thought Alethea was against #Canada150 events. Hypocritical.

#2. Posted by Why? on April 19, 2017

Indeed, #1. I was under the impression she thought that Inuit participation was dangerous somehow. I admit, I tune her out sometimes.

#3. Posted by Alethea on April 20, 2017

#1 and #2, since you feel the need to publicly criticize me (anonymously, how brave…), I will clarify my position. I think it’s unfortunate that Canada is spending so much money on extravagant events that perpetuate a racist and colonial version of history. I disagree that confederation is complete, and that Canada actually owns all of the territory that it claims to. I also disagree that this country is only 150 years old.

While I support indigenous people who choose to boycott Canada 150 events, my personal opinion is that the best strategy is to use the money and platform that #Canada150 comes with to show our perspective, and propose ways our country can decolonize.

I don’t think it’s dangerous for Inuit to participate in (not celebrate) 150 projects. In fact I think we should take part in strategic ways that help us resist the colonial narrative (hence my 150 Walrus talk). However it is dangerous for the Canadian Government to celebrate racism, dispossession and genocide.

#4. Posted by Herbert Marcuse on April 21, 2017

My, my, what a textbook example of the concept of repressive desublimation.

Repressive desublimation is what happens when artists pour their energies into “art” that purports to resist the authority of the capitalist system and the powerful state that supports capitalism, but it’s all just an illusion. (We’ll refer to what Alethea does as “art” for the sake of argument.)

In this case, the art is supposed to be an act of resistance against colonialism. However the state allows this art to flourish only to create the illusion of freedom and tolerance. In this case, the state even finances this illusion through grants from Canada Council, Telefilm Canada and all the other state agencies that give money to artists.

The art, therefore, is just a repressive tool that keeps the illusion going. In showing up to this event, Alethea is just helping to maintain the simulacra which in turn helps to conceal the true nature of the repressive state.

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