Nunaaluk: A Forgotten Story resurrects the story of a group of resourceful, independent Inuit who lived on Cape Hope Island (Nunaaluk, they called it–the big island) and got along well with their Cree neighbours in southeastern James Bay. They were forced to abandon their beloved island home when the government relocated them north to Kuujjuarapik (Great Whale River) in 1960. The film features Mini Aodla Freeman; George Kudlu; the late Arctic photographer Fred Bruemmer; and Elizabeth Mark Maiczan.
The response to the film has been heartwarming! Here are excerpts from a few viewers’ email messages:
“How moved I was by your film. The quiet of it, the ‘listening’ sense of the film allowing the story to unfold with such truth and humility. I was riveted from the beginning by the voiceover narration of Mini [Aodla Freeman], as the landscape flowed behind her words and the subtitles. And then, as the boat came to shore, it felt like we were entering eternal time as her memories made a lost way of life live again.” C.
“I was so taken by your vision and craft. Everything in the movie resonated so strongly with my whole being.” A.
“The film is so creative, from weaving in Fred Bruemmer’s memories of George Weetaltuk and the lasting impact that relatively brief encounter had on him, to Mini Freeman’s and George Kudlu’s poignant memories about Nunaaluk. The filming is just superb, surely leaving no doubt in viewers’ minds that Cape Hope [Nunaaluk] really is a very special place. I will watch Nunaaluk many more times for sure.” M.
“You did a wonderful little film; I was smitten during the whole thing by the beauty of this story and by the quality of images and moments created by your video.” C.
“[We] felt very privileged to attend the showing of your video and hear firsthand the reflections and memories of Mini and George, who are such an important part of this story. Their love of Cape Hope, their courage, and the skills they were able to impart to the Cree was very meaningful. The fact that these two communities, Cree and Inuit, once sworn enemies, learned to cooperate and respect one another is a lesson for all of us.
“Your film was also photographed with great sensitivity and aesthtic taste. Congratulations. You and Niels obviously have great empathy with these people. How sad that Fred Breummer passed away on the very day this film was shown to the public for the first time. His legacy will live on in the memory of the aboriginal people whose lives he touched, and in his photography.” J.
“It was a pleasure to meet you and see your perfect little film. It really was just right.” I.