Nanook of the North
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Nanook of the North is regarded as the first significant nonfiction feature, made in the days before the term "documentary" had even been coined. Filmmaker Robert Flaherty had lived among the Eskimos in Canada for many years as a prospector and explorer, and he had shot some footage of them on an informal basis before he decided to make a more formal record of their daily lives. Financing was provided by Revillion Freres, a French fur company with an outpost on the shores of Hudson Bay. Filming took place between August 1920, and August 1921, mostly on the Ungava Peninsula of Hudson… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Flaherty wasn't much of an ethnologist -- he routinely staged scenes for his camera and insisted that his subjects return to traditions they'd abandoned generations before -- yet he was a master dramatist."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Nanook is one of the most vital and unforgettable human beings ever recorded on film."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"That it wasn't exactly accurate does not obscure its importance as a cinematic milestone and a depiction of a vanishing way of life."
‑ Stan Hall, Oregonian
"Além de ser um fascinante retrato da árdua vida dos esquimós, este clássico ainda deve ser lembrado por ter praticamente originado o gênero documentário."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"Nanook's life, mainly concerning the perpetual quest for food as his family teeters on starvation, doesn't offer a lot of variety, but blisteringly real images like this don't come along any more these days."
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Despite the comparatively primitive technique and the natural difficulties of shooting a film in the frozen Hudson Bay wastelands, every minute of Nanook lives up to its reputation."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Excellent early documentary has some hunting violence."
‑ Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
"By virtue of its timeless setting and straightforward approach to its subject, this portrait of the daily lives of an Eskimo man and his family is probably the least dated of any silent film extant."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"It was so well made that it still works today."
‑ Douglas Pratt, DVDLaser
"Nanook of the North is considered to be the first documentary ever made and is a truly joyous film experience."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"These characters are plainly 'playing' themselves, and scenes such as the igloo-building manifest a sage grace and skill."
‑ , Time Out
"absolutely brilliant"
‑ Jay Antani, Cinema Writer
"Flaherty's classic, influential documentary still fascinates."
‑ Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan
"While still criticized for its creative distortions, Flaherty's groundbreaking documentary of Eskimo life is among the most important films of the silent era."
‑ Thomas Delapa, Boulder Weekly
"Although in some scenes it's pretty obvious that igloos have been constructed by the set designer rather than the Eskimos, there's a real beauty and an authenticity that renders these details insignificant."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for Nanook of the North on Rotten Tomatoes