Module 1 – Post 1: Film “Angry Inuk”: Paul Waterlander

Angry Inuk is a 2016 film made by Inuit film-maker Alathea Arnaquq-Baril.  The film depicts the challenges facing the Inuit seal hunters after European-settler animal rights activist groups such as PETA, Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd call for a boycott against Canadian seal fur.   Many Inuit hunters made an income back in the days before animal activists by selling seal furs to European fashion designers.

Arnaquq-Baril points out that anger is not an emotion that Inuit exhibit towards other humans.  Inuit society relies on cooperation and tolerance.  Watching the film, you can see Arnaquq-Baril’s frustration rise as she attempts to secure a meeting with these animal rights activists so that she can convey the economic suffering her culture is going through due to the fur boycott.  Her attempts to invite them to come see her in the Arctic are all rejected.  She asks, “How can these non-Inuit understand the seal hunt, if they have never come to the community to talk with us or ask questions?” Arnaquq-Baril begins to use technology to get her message out.

An Inuit mother caused a Twitter-storm when she took a photo of her infant lying next to a seal freshly killed in a hunt.  Arnaquq-Baril uses social media to get the word out that any Inuit should use Twitter or Instagram to post photos showing how the seal hunt is important to the Inuit.  She labelled these photos “Sealfies”.  The film is an excellent window to Inuit culture and beliefs.  This film is an excellent example of how today’s Indigenous population can use modern media to get their message out to the wider world.  The film is available at the National Film Board website for free (streaming only), but is also available for purchase at an educational institution rate.

Link to view the trailer: https://www.nfb.ca/film/angry_inuk/

 

A “Sealfie”

One comment

  1. Hi Paul,
    Just finding your posts and noticed I made a similar reference to this film in one of my latest replies! I have not seen it yet (trailer looks good) but can gather from the information linked how using today’s modern technology (film) can help reduce stereotypes of the indigenous people.

    Cheers,
    Kevin

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