The State Theater, 130 W. College Ave., State College. Photo by Frank Scaramuzzo | forward state
“Nanook of the North,” the world’s first feature-length documentary, turns 100 this year and in honor of the centennial, Penn State anthropology professor and filmmaker Kirk French is collaborating with the State Theater to host a screening of the film.
The 7 p.m. screening on Friday March 25 will be followed by a Q&A with French, who is working on “A century after Nanook”, a project revisiting the iconic film. He is also helping organize the Nanook Centennial Celebration Event which will take place in the Canadian village of Inukjuak, where “Nanook” was filmed, on June 11.
In August 1920, aspiring American filmmaker Robert Flaherty traveled to Inukjuak to begin documenting the daily life and struggles of an Inuk named Allakariallak and his family. “Nanook of the North: A Story of Life and Love in the Actual Arctic” premiered on June 11, 1922.
Almost a century later, French began a collaboration with the Inuit of Inukjuak in November 2019 with the aim of revisiting the film on the occasion of its 100th anniversary.
“The end product will be a documentary centered on the voices and perspectives of Indigenous peoples in the region,” French said. “Through a combination of archival footage from 1920-21, interviews with local residents and climate change scientists, we are working with the community to document the drastic environmental and cultural changes that have taken place in the region. over the past 100 years.”
French notes that despite generating one of the smallest carbon footprints in the world, indigenous communities in the Arctic are experiencing the most dramatic effects of climate change, forcing many of these communities to drastically alter their traditional way of life.
Tickets for the screening of “Nanook of the North” are $8 for general admission and $5 for students and are available through State Theater website.