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Blood & Snow
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Blood and Snow: Short Films and Videos from the North
May 2nd, 2013, 8pm
Club SAW, 67 Nicholas Street
Free admission
 
Curated by Christopher Rohde and Laura Taler
 
Blood and Snow is a collection of twelve spectacular short films and videos that explore the ways in which blood plays a vital role in northern communities. In lands where hunting is an essential cultural legacy, blood symbolizes not only the northern peoples’ intimate connection to the land, but also the crucial ways in which family ties ensure survival. From musical to drama to animation to documentary, Blood and Snow provides a fascinating glimpse into a uniquely Northern mindset with fantastic tales of survival, mythical journeys, identity politics and love.
 
Filmmakers Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, 2002) and Marie-Hélène Cousineau (Before Tomorrow, 2008) will be in attendance to discuss their work following the screening.
 
Presented by SAW Video Media Art Centre, in collaboration with the NAC’s Northern Scene
 
We gratefully acknowledge NFB, Vtape, FilmCAN NPP films, Yukon Film Society, Western Arctic Moving Pictures, IsumaTV and TIFF.
 
Screening list:
 
Tungijuq (Félix Lajeunesse & Paul Raphaël, 2009, 7 min.)
Amaqqut Nunaat: The Country of Wolves (Neil Christopher, 2011, 11.5 min.)
Sirmilik (Zacharias Kunuk, 2011, 10.5 min.)
The Dimming (Ippiksaut Friesen, 2011, 6 min.)
The Provider (Moira Sauer, 2011, 6 min.)
The Dancing Cop (Kelvin Redvers, 2012, 7 min.)
Sloth (Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, 2011, 2 min.)
Aydaygooay (Mary Code, 2006, 6 min.)
Caribou (Aidan Cartwright, 2011, 4 min.)
Boar Attack (Jay White, 2006, 4 min.)
Charlie Pisuk (Marie-Hélène Cousineau, 2011, 17 min.)
How People Got Fire (Daniel Janke, 2007, 16 min.)
 

Synopses:

 
Tungijuq (Félix Lajeunesse & Paul Raphaël, 2009, 7 min.)
A thought-provoking fantastical interpretation of the seal-hunt and what it means to the traditional way of life for the Inuit. Starring the charismatic singer-artist Tanya Tagaq and award-winning filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk, Tungijuq mixes live action and computer animation, creating a cinematic and musical expression of the organic and indisputable reality of hunting in Inuit culture.

 
Amaqqut Nunaat: The Country of Wolves (Neil Christopher, 2011, 11.5 min.)
In Amaqqut Nunaat, two brothers find themselves adrift on broken sea ice while out hunting for seal. They drift in the darkness for many days, until the ice they are on settles on the shore of a strange and distant land. Looking for help, the younger brother goes to a large communal igloo, where music and merriment can be heard. The older brother walks to a small igloo at the edge of the camp. There he finds a strange old woman who tells him he is in the Country of Wolves.
 
Sirmilik (Zacharias Kunuk, 2011, 10.5 min.)
Created as part of the National Parks Project, Zacharias Kunuk’s Sirmilik showcases the staggering yet fragile beauty of one of Canada’s northernmost parks. Sirmilik is narrated by Ham Kadloo, an Inuit elder from the town of Pond Inlet on the edge of Sirmilik National Park. Over haunting images of the landscape and its people, Kadloo tells of how his father taught him to read the weather as a child, and ponders how the climate has begun to confound him. The result is a visually exquisite piece that captures the cinematic majesty of the Arctic, and asks how it is changing.
 
The Dimming (Ippiksaut Friesen, 2011, 6 min.)
“Long ago, no light to warm the earth, no moon to comfort tired souls.” This is the story of how the Sun and the Moon were born. A young Inuit woman named Siqiniq attempts to find the identity of her lover whom she encounters anonymously in the dimming festival. When the next festival comes, she puts soot on her hands to rub on her lover’s face. His identity is revealed when the lights are turned on, creating a shocking confrontation.
 
The Provider (Moira Sauer, 2011, 6 min.)
The Provider is a darkly comedic story told through the style of a charming silent movie. Struggling through a long, dark Yukon winter with only her sled dogs for company, a lonely heroine hungry for companionship finds a unique way to fulfill her needs. The sled dogs that star in this film were all rescued or adopted.
 
The Dancing Cop (Kelvin Redvers, 2012, 7 min.)
A Native man is suspected of theft by an overzealous police officer, who suddenly breaks away from typical police behaviour. A surreal musical satire, The Dancing Cop unconventionally addresses the bubbling tensions between the First Nations populace and the powers that be. (Description courtesy of TIFF)
 
Sloth (Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, 2011, 2 min.)
Sloth was produced as part of a series of seven short films by different Canadian filmmakers about the seven deadly sins. It is a tongue-in-cheek animation poking fun at the Inuit stereotypes that have existed over the years. Are Inuit noble? Savage and simple-minded? Drunks? Stoic and wise? Hardworking? Lazy?  Animator Jonathan Wright hand-drew the characters using a digital tablet monitor and Photoshop. These characters were then built into virtual paper puppets and digitally animated.
 
Aydaygooay (Mary Code, 2006, 6 min.)
Aydaygooay is about respect, courage, and living in harmony with all our relations. Aydaygooay has a power nobody knows. The caribou have been mistreated, and he must try to bring them back. This Sayisi Dene legend was related to director Mary Code by her father John Clipping in 1974. Using animation and live action, the story of Aydaygooay takes place in the central barrens and tundra forest of northern Canada and explores a profound philosophical division between hunter and herder. 
 
Caribou (Aidan Cartwright, 2011, 4 min.)
Caribou is a short animated video based on true events from the life of the artist Aidan Cartwright. The work was created to address discussions the artist had while attending university in Calgary where he was asked how he could bring himself to kill a living animal. Caribou is a reflection of the artist’s personal feelings and history with being raised as a hunter in Canada’s North.
 
Boar Attack (Jay White, 2006, 4 min.)
Having grown up in the shadow of his successful ballet dancer father, a boy is forced to confront his fears. What caused his father’s mysterious disappearance in the woods? Was it a diseased insect? Diarrhea? Or even a pig? The boy must find a way to accept his loss. A four-minute animated short, using computer animation and watercolour paintings.
 
Charlie Pisuk (Marie-Hélène Cousineau, 2011, 17 min.)
Charlie Pisuk is your brother, your uncle, your cousin? Is he carefree? Often or always? Sometimes or rarely? What is the question? Through a self-conscious, repetitive cinematic frame that resembles the documentary interview, this complex and profound film plays with the layers of misunderstanding that arise from simplistic psychological surveys.  Hilarious and infuriating at once, Charlie Pisuk reveals how standardized studies can never reveal the complexities of culture. 
 
How People Got Fire (Daniel Janke, 2008, 16 min.)
How People Got Fire centers on Grandma Kay (based on elder Kitty Smith) and the connection she forges with the village children through the oral tradition of their culture. Twelve-year-old Tish is one of those children – an introspective, talented girl who feels particularly drawn to Grandma Kay’s kitchen. Here, past and present blend, myth and reality meet, and the metaphor of fire infuses all in a location that lies at the heart of the community’s spiritual and cultural memory.
 

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