________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 7 . . . . November 26, 2004

cover

If the Weather Permits.

Elisapie Isaac. (Writer, Researcher & Director). Yves Bisaillon. (Producer).
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 2003.
28 min., VHS, $99.95.
Order Number: C9103 013.

Subject Headings:
Inuit - Quebec - Nunavik - Social life and customs.
Nunavik (Quebec) - Social life and customs.

Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.

Review by Elaine De Bonis.

*** /4

excerpt:

In the vastness of northern Quebec, on the edge of the Arctic Ocean, lies the village of Kangirsujuaq, in Nunavik. Here, tradition and modernity intersect on a daily basis. Teenagers lap up 'southern' culture and play golf on the tundra. Their elders - many of them former nomads and hunters - are trying to get used to the strange feelings of staying put.

 

Elisapie Isaac, the young filmmaker, was born in Nunavik and has decided to return to her to her roots on this breathtaking land. She uses the video to show us the hopes and fears she experiences upon her return. The video uses interviews with Naalak, an elder, and Danny, a young policeman from Kangirsujuaq, as well as several teenage boys, and a recorded conversation with Isaac’s grandfather to bridge the gap between the old and new culture. Isaac asks the fundamental question: Can Inuit culture survive in the modern world?

     This video does a credible job of visually presenting the clash between the cultures and the lure that modern culture offers young Inuit boys. With old hunting film interspersed between the interviews, there is a clear picture of the change wrought in the Inuit culture. However the video is unsuccessful in providing cohesiveness between interviews and showing the opportunities that modern culture offers. Women played an equal role in the survival of the Inuit people when the Inuit were a hunting culture; their voice is lacking from this video completely, and it would offer a balance to the views presented by the men.

     If the Weather Permits would be an interesting and instructive visual video to a junior high history or social studies class or for any group discussing the demise of the hunting culture in Northern Canada. The lack of clear diction within the video and the brevity of responses do not make it suitable for high school students.

Recommended.

Elaine De Bonis is a librarian currently in career transition.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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