ALETHEA ARNAQUQ-BARIL | CANADA | 2016 | 85 MIN | DOCUMENTARY
Free admission. All are welcome.
Seal meat is a staple food for Inuit, and many of the pelts are sold to offset the extraordinary cost of hunting. Inuit are spread across extensive lands and waters, and their tiny population is faced with a disproportionate responsibility for protecting the environment. They are pushing for a sustainable way to take part in the global economy, but in opposition stands an army of well-funded activists and well-meaning celebrities.
Arnaquq-Baril and her cameras travel through the Canadian Arctic, giving voice to the people the animal activists rarely bother to meet: the hunters, the craftspeople, the families for whom the seal hunt is a critical part of their livelihood and survival. She follows a group of students to Europe, where they plead the Inuit case before a European Union panel.
The film interweaves the reality of Inuit life with the story of their challenge to both the anti-sealing industry and those nations that mine resources on Inuit lands while simultaneously destroying the main sustainable economy available to the people who live there. As one student said, “We need to stop the cultural prejudice that is imposed on us by not being allowed to benefit from our natural surroundings without having to drill into the ground. And that’s really all we want as a people.”
Alethea Arnaquq-Baril (Inuk) is an award-winning filmmaker from the Canadian Arctic, where her production company, Unikkaat Studios, is based. She is known for her award-winning works Tunniit: Retracing the Lines of Inuit Tattoos, Inuit High Kick, Lumaajuuq: The Blind Boy and the Loon, and the animated short Sloth. She was an executive producer on Miranda de Pencier’s award-winning Throat Song and co-produced both Arctic Defenders, a feature documentary by John Walker, and, with White Pine Pictures, the feature documentary Experimental Eskimos. Most recently, Alethea directed Aviliaq: Entwined as part of imagineNATIVE’s second Embargo Collective.
For more information, please contact Tara Bursey, Program Coordinator, Workers Arts & Heritage Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org or (905) 522-3003 ex. 29
This program takes place over Hamilton Arts Week, an annual civic celebration of the arts. For more information about Hamilton Arts Week and it’s many offerings across the city, visit the Hamilton Arts Council’s #HamArtsWeek website.