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Information

Year
1922
Runtime
78 min.
Director
Robert J. Flaherty
Genre
Documentary
Rating *
7.7
Votes *
7,761
Checks
5,265
Favs
230
Dislikes
28
Favs/checks
4.4% (1:23)
Favs/dislikes
8:1
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. kaffy's avatar

    kaffy

    Having the name "Flaherty" and years spent in areas renowned for their cold climes did not make this movie a charming or pleasant experience.

    Nearly every (to be incredibly generous) scene is staged, and the last scene is most certainly a set. The added depressing knowledge of the fate of various aboriginal tribes in the century after the movie's release only adds to the sense of helplessness one feels while watching the movie.

    I feel the worst crime of the film is its legacy of clichés that persist to this day; igloos, sled dogs and "eskimo kisses" are all firmly established tropes that Flaherty is responsible for in his white-washed showcase of Nanook and his family.
    7 years 3 months ago
  2. alittleLoCa's avatar

    alittleLoCa

    I didn't like the movie at all. I thought it was a cheap distortion on Flaherty's part. 7 years 8 months ago
  3. Siskoid's avatar

    Siskoid

    An early silent documentary, Nanook of the North basically gave pop culture its Inuit stereotype (or Eskimo, which the film uses liberally but shouldn't, as the term is a racial slur handed down from more southerly tribes), but it has to be understood that what Robert J. Flaherty was trying to film was actually how Inuit families lived traditionally years or decades before 1922, possibly things he had seen in previous expeditions to the Arctic, ignoring a lot of the changes already taking place due to Western encroachment. So "Nanook" and his family are a retro-composite and so the film is better seen as a docu-drama. So if you're wondering how they got a camera into an igloo, etc., that's your answer. With almost 100 years between us and the film, what's a couple decades though? Nanook stands as a document of how traditional hunting, fishing, house-building and family life were done in the Arctic, and captures the harsh conditions, the danger, but also the joy of the Inu lifestyle. I watched it on YouTube where it had no music track, so I just put my music library on random. It started with Rush's Rivendell, which captured the melancholy North quite perfectly. 3 months 1 week ago
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In 17 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #2 in Harvard's Suggested Film Viewing: Non-Fiction Films
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    2
  2. This movie ranks #2 in Library of Congress's National Film Registry
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    Library of Congress's Na…

    2
  3. This movie ranks #6 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Documentaries of All Time
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    Sight & Sound's The Grea…

    6
  4. This movie ranks #12 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
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    1001 Movies You Must See…

    12
  5. This movie ranks #31 in Silent Era's The Top 300 Silent Era Films
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    Silent Era's The Top 300…

    31
  6. This movie ranks #32 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema
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    Jonathan Rosenbaum's Ess…

    32
  7. This movie ranks #33 in The Criterion Collection
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    The Criterion Collection

    33
  8. This movie ranks #39 in Paul Rotha's Silent but Not Forgotten
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    Paul Rotha's Silent but …

    39
  9. This movie ranks #53 in Mark Cousins's The Story of Film: An Odyssey
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    Mark Cousins's The Story…

    53
  10. This movie ranks #70 in BFI's 100 Documentary Films
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    BFI's 100 Documentary Fi…

    70
  11. This movie ranks #210 in Anthology Film Archives's Essential Cinema
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    Anthology Film Archives'…

    210
  12. This movie ranks #220 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
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    TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest F…

    220
  13. This movie ranks #266 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
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    Sight & Sound's The Grea…

    266
  14. This movie ranks #281 in Roger Ebert's Great Movies
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    Roger Ebert's Great Movi…

    281
  15. This movie ranks #597 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
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    The New York Times's Boo…

    597
  16. This movie ranks #619 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
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    The Guardian's 1000 Film…

    619
  17. This movie ranks #788 in UNESCO's Memory of the World
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    UNESCO's Memory of the W…

    788
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