Robert J. Flaherty Essay

Submitted By dareu
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Gina Villalobos
Professor Casey English 101

Response to film Nanook of the North
Robert J. Flaherty’s masterpiece “Nanook of the North” is considered to be the first feature­length documentary, and genre of filmmaking which did not actually exist in 1922. It captures the life of an Inuit hunter and how he struggles to feed his family in the Canadian
Arctic. The environment is quite harsh but the family seems contented. Nanook smiles a lot and seems like a nice guy. Flaherty did not merely; want to show some exotic part of the world. He wanted there to be a story.
Flaherty portrayed various things that have made the movie a documentary. Some of them include developing a real Inuit man, Nanook, famous for his hunting skills among the
Inuits. He deploys the life and traditions of the Eskimos. It serves as a documentary since he exposes them before the Europeans explorers came to the area. He even set the grounds to constitute what was to be viewed as a documentary. There were no rules that existed to state how a documentary should be.
Flaherty trained the Inuit’s to be his crew for the film to make the film authentic. He made sure the locations and screened prints involved the Inuit people. The film covered the culture of the Eskimos which was and is of interest to many readers. The writer succeeded being

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romantic to the culture. He really showed the traditional lifestyle of the Inuits. He gave it a social advocacy. The film incorporated the use of spears and real animals that gives the film authenticity.
Eskimos started using guns instead of spears and harpoons for example, and Flaherty captured that former way of life on film before it disappeared forever. He creates scenes that are so epic; like the scene depicting the visit to the trade post, .where he has contact with people of western civilization, with whom they…