Angry Inuk (2016)

Recommended by Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs
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All Canadians should watch Angry Inuk. This eye-opening documentary powerfully takes on animal rights organizations and anti-sealing. This film sheds light into life in the Arctic for Inuit; whose anger is understated, and who rely on sustainable sealing for their culture and livelihood.

Nobody likes feeling invisible – so imagine being a community of 65,000 strong, feeling like the world’s decisions about your life-sustaining practice doesn’t include, or even consider you.

This was the impetus for documentary filmmaker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s Angry Inuk, to let the European Union, animal welfare groups, and the world to know that bans against seal hunts are devastating to the Inuit.

The film shatters misconceptions like there being one lone seal hunt in southern Canada, when seal hunts actually take place often in Nunuvut, Alaska, Greenland and Russia. The reality is that in Inuit communities like Kimmirut and Pangnirtung, some of the most food insecure people in the world, rely on seal hunting for food. The meat is communal, perfectly illustrated by the woman phoning person after person to come over to eat the seal meat being carved up on her living room. It’s also integral to its economy, with seal skin sales being instrumental to fund more seal hunting.

Time and time again, the film shows decisions made by those in Europe and southern Canada and the U.S. who cannot comprehend that Inuit people are involved in the commercial market. Meanwhile, in interviews long time seal hunters lament about wanting to see and speak with an anti-seal hunter, because, of course, they don’t live anywhere near the Canadian Arctic.

There are so many interesting threads in this incredible film, including Aaju Peter, a sealskin clothing designer, lawyer and seal hunting activist, travelling to the EU twice; the filmmaker herself trying to have an on-camera conversation with prominent leaders of anti-seal hunting groups; and the Twitter #sealfie campaign, where people posted photos of themselves in sealskin clothing or eating seal meat.

Review by Kelly Boutsalis

Type:

Film

Canadian connection

Writer/Director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril
Iqaluit, Nunavut
Winner of the Vimeo On Demand Audience Award and the Canadian Documentary Promotion Award at the 2016 Hot Docs Festival