Movie Review – Arctic Defenders (2013)

Movie Synopsis: This Canadian documentary showcases the life and struggle of the Inuit people in northern Canada. It brings forward issues around how the Inuit people were forcibly moved from their original homes by the Canadian government in the not-too-distant past, how the Inuit people struggled for decades to ensure self government, which eventually led to the creation of Nunavut in 1999, and issues around Canadian government priorities of northern sovereignty versus ensuring access to social programs and economic development for the Inuit peoples.

Movie Review: This was truly an excellent documentary. High-quality cinematography helped capture the stark, barren, beautiful landscapes of the north. The interviews with a variety of Inuit people from different backgrounds and on different topics helped make poignant points throughout the film. Rather than here from experts from southern Canada, this film had the director and writer going up north to learn from the people themselves, and led to a very informative and passionate piece of filming. The documentary focused on historical issues, political issues, geographic issues, and economic and social issues in turn, which ensured it was fairly well-balanced (although it would have been nice to see more analysis and thought on the issue of high suicide rates in the north, which was referenced but not explored in detail). Overall, this was an excellent documentary that displayed the resolve, bravery, and humbleness of a people with a truly distinct and beautiful culture and language, who are striving for a positive future.

Overall: 4.5 stars out of 5 stars.

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