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T The Last Days of Okak


Directed by Anne Budgell, Nigel Markham


Produced by Kent Martin Image taken from the production


ᑭᖑᓪᓕᖅᐹᑦ ᐅᓪᓗᖏᑦ ᐅᑳᐅᑉ ᑐᑭᒧᐊᑦᑎᑦᑎᔨᐅᓯᒪᔪᖅ ᐋᓐ ᐸᑦᔪᓪ, ᓇᐃᔪᓪ ᒫᒃᕼᐋᒻ


ᑕᕐᕆᔮᓕᐊᖓ ᑭᐊᓐᑦ ᒫᕐᑎᓐ ᐊᑦᔨᓐᖑᐊᖅ ᐱᔭᐅᓂᑯ ᑕᕐᕆᔮᓕᐅᖅᑎᓪᓗᒋᑦ


he image is simple, arresting, and iconic. An Inuit hunter lies on the ice, spear tucked closely by his side. He croaks out a seal call, sounding authen- tic enough to earn a response from an actual seal nearby, perched next to a hole in the ice. Slowly, patiently, and above all seal-like, the hunter works


his way toward the animal, which continues to answer his calls, and even raises a flipper when he raises his arm. Finally, the man’s gradual movements are rewarded, when he is close enough to rise up and capture his prey. This entire drama, which took place decades ago, was


captured on film in black-and-white. The camera work is plain and unremarkable, especially for anyone accustomed to the dynamic standards of today’s multimedia imagery. Given the quality of camera equipment that might have been available at the time, the harsh conditions in which that equipment had to function, and the sheer difficulty of getting it to the Arctic at all, the clarity of the finished product undoubtedly represents a monumental amount of effort. Even so, this work and many others like it have remained tucked away in a Montreal film vault, seldom, if ever, being seen by anyone. Now this cinematic obscurity is coming to an end. Over


the past year, such films have been systematically resurrected from the Montreal archives of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Seemingly straightforward scenes like the hunter on the ice have been bringing tears to the eyes of audience members young and old — kindling fond memories of a vanishing way of life, coupled with the pride of knowing the remarkable features of Inuit culture have been preserved for everyone to see.


ᓚᑦ ᓯ ᕙᓪᓕᐊᓂᕐᒥᒃ. ᐃ ᑕᑯᓐᓇᓐᖑᐊᒐᑦᓴᑦᓯᐊᖅ, ᑎᒍᔭᐅᓇᖅᑐᖅ, ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᑕᐸᐃᕐᓇᖅᑐᖅ. ᐃᓄᒃ


ᐊᖑᓇᓱᑦᑎ ᓯᑯᒥ ᓇᓪᓚᖓᓪᓗᓂ, ᐅᓈᕐᒥᓂᒃ ᓴᓂᒥᐅᑕᓕᒃ. ᓂᓪᓕᐊᓪᓗᓂ ᓇᑦᓯᐅᖑᐊᖅᑐᖅ, ᓇᑦᓯᕐᕙᓗᑐᐃᓐᓇᐅᓂᕐᒥᓄᑦ ᑭᐅᔭᐅᒌᖅᑐᖅ ᓇᑦᓯᕐᒧᑦ ᖃᓂᒋᔮᓃᑦᑐᒧᑦ, ᐊᓪᓗᒥᓃᑦᑐᒧᑦ. ᓱᒃᑲᐃᑦᑐᑯᓘᓪᓗᓂ, ᑐᐊᕕᓐᖏᓯᐊᖅᑐᓂ, ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᓇᑦᓯᖅᑐᑦ ᐃᑦᓯᐊᖅᑐᓂ, ᐊᖑᓇᓱᑦᑎ ᐆᒪᔪᒧᑦ ᖃᓪᓕᕙᓪᓕᐊᔪᖅ, ᓱᓕ ᑭᐅᖃᑦᑕᖅᑐᒧᑦ ᓇᑦᓯᐅᖑᐊᕐᕕᒋᒐᐃᒻᒪᒍ, ᐊᓪᓛᑦ ᑕᓕᕈᖓ ᐃᓵᖃᑦᑕᖅᑐᖅ ᑕᓕᕐᒥᓂᒃ ᑕᓕᕈᓐᖑᐊᖃᖅᑐᓂ ᐃᓵᒐᐃᒻᒪᒍ. ᐊᓱᐃᓛᒃ, ᐊᖑᑎᐅᑉ ᐊᐅᓚᓂᖓ ᐊᑭᓕᐅᑎᕗᖅ, ᖃᓪᓕᑦᓯᐊᕋᒥ ᓂᑯᕕᒍᓐᓇᖅᓯᒐᒥ ᒪᑭᓵᖅᑐᓂ ᐱᓇᓱᐊᖅᑕᒥᓂᒃ ᐊᖑᕗᖅ.


ᑖᓐᓇ ᑕᑯᓐᓇᒐᑦᓴᓕᐊᖑᔪᖅ, ᐅᕙᑦᓯᐊᕈᐊᓗᒃ ᐊᑐᖅᑕᒥᓂᐅᔪᖅ, ᐊᔾᔨᓕ -


ᐅᖅᑕᐅᓪᓗᓂ ᑲᓚᖃᓐᖏᑦᑐᒧᑦ. ᐊᔾᔨᓕᐅᒐᖅ ᓱᕐᕋᑦᓯᒪᓐᖏᑦᑐᖅ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᑕᐸᐃᕐᓇᖅᑐᖅ, ᐱᓗᐊᖅᑐᒥ ᑕᐃᒃᑯᓄᖓ ᐅᓪᓗᒥᓯᐅᑎᓄᑦ ᐊᔾᔨᓕᐅᕈᑎᓄᑦ ᐊᔾᔨᓕᐅᕆᕙᑦᑐᓄᑦ ᑕᑯᑦᓴᐅᔪᒃᓴᓂᒃ. ᐊᔾᔨᓕᐅᕈᑏᑦ ᓴᓇᔭᐅᒪᔪᐹᓘᑎᓐᓇᒋᑦ ᑕᐃᑦᓱᒪᓂ, ᐃᒃᑮᓇᖅᑐᐊᓘᑎᓪᓗᒍ ᖁᐊᑦᑕᐃᓕᒪᑎᖃᑦᑕᖅᓱᒋᑦ ᐊᔾᔨᓕᐅᕆ - ᔪᓐᓇᖁᓪᓗᒋᑦ, ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐱᔭᕐᓂᖏᑦᑐᕐᔪᐊᒃᑯᑦ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᒨᕋᓱᐊᕐᓂᖅ ᐊᓪᓛᑦ, ᓴᖅᑭᔮᑦᓯᐊᖅᑐᖅ ᐊᔾᔨᓕᐅᒐᖅ ᖁᓚᕐᓇᕋᓂ ᐱᔭᕐᓂᖏᑦᑐᕐᔪᐊᕌᓗᒃᑯᑦ ᐱᓇᓱ - ᐊᖅᑕᐅᓯᒪᓂᖓ. ᐊᓪᓛᑦ, ᑖᓐᓇ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᓯᒪᓂᖓ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐊᓯᖏᑦ ᐊᒥᓱᑦ ᕿᑲᖅᑎᐊᖑᑐᐃᓐᓇᖅᑐᑦ ᒪᓐᑐᕆᐊᓪ ᑕᑯᓐᓇᒐᑦᓴᒃᑯᕕᖓᓂ, ᐃᓛᓐᓃᓐᓇᖅ, ᑕᑯᓐᓇᖅᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᓐᓂᖅᐸᑕ, ᑕᑯᓐᓇᖅᑕᐅᓯᒪᔪᓂᒃ. ᑕᒪᒃᑯᐊ ᑕᑯᓐᓇᒐᑦᓴᐅᔪᑦ ᓄᖅᑲᐸᓪᓕᐊᓕᖅᑐᑦ ᐱᓪᓚᑦᑖᖅᑐᑦ. ᐅᑭᐅ -


ᖑᖅᑲᐅᔪᒥ, ᑕᒪᒃᑯᐊ ᐊᐅᓚᔫᓕᐅᒐᑦ ᓴᖅᑭᖅᑕᐅᑲᓐᓂᖅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᒪᑭᑎᑕᐅ - ᕙᓪᓕᐊᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᒪᓐᑐᕆᐊᓪᒥ ᐃᑦᑕᕐᓂᓴᖃᕐᕕᖓᓂᒃ ᑐᖅᑯᖅᑐᐃᓯᒪᕕᖕᒥᒃ ᑲᓇᑕᓕᒫᒥ ᑕᑯᓐᓇᒐᑦᓴᓕᐊᕆᔨᕐᔪᐊᑯᓐᓂᒃ. ᑕᒪᒃᑯᐊ ᐱᔭᕆᐊᑭᑦᑐᒥᓂ ᕈᓘ - ᔮᖅᑎᑕᐅᔪᑦ ᓲᕐᓗ ᐊᖑᓇᓱᑦᑎ ᓯᑯᒥ ᐅᐹᔭᖅᑐᖅ ᖁᕝᕕᐅᕈᑕᐅᖃᑦᑕᖅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᑕᑯᓐᓇᖅᑐᓄᑦ ᒪᒃᑯᑦᑐᓄᓪᓗ ᐃᓐᓇᓄᓪᓗ — ᐃᖅᑲᐃᒍᑕᐅᕙᑦᑐᑎᒃ ᑲᔾᔮᓇ -


ᓄᐃᑦ ᓯᓚᕐᔪᐊᕐᒥ ᑲᑎᒪᔨᖏᑦ, ᑭᒡᒐᖅᑐᐃᔪᑦ 160 ᑕᐅᓴᓂᒃ ᐃᓄᖕᓂᒃ ᑲᓇᑕᒥ, ᐊᑯᑭᑦᑐᓂ, ᐊᓛᔅᑲᒥ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐅᓛᓴᒃᑯᓐᓂ, ᐋᖅᑭᑦᓱᐃᔪᑦ ᐃᓘᓐᓇᖏᓐᓄᑦ ᐊᑐᖅᑕᐅᓂᐊᖅᑐᒥᒃ ᓯᕗᓂᑦ - ᑎᓐᓂ ᐊᕙᑎᑦᑎᓐᓄᑦ ᕿᓚᒥᐊᓗᒃ ᐊᑦᑐᐃᓂᖃᕈᓐᓇᖅᑐᒥᒃ ᐅᖅᓱᐊᓗᑦᓯᐅᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑑᑉ ᐃᒪᖏᓐᓂ ᐊᐅ -


22


arcticjournal.ca


July/August 2011


© 1985 NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


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