There are more exciting things to discover on YouTube than makeup tips and cat clips: for instance, videos of the wondrous everyday exploits of people living at the end of the world. Canadian video and installation artist Dominic Gagnon has assembled found footage depicting life at the Arctic polar circle into a film that is sure to leave a lasting impression. OF THE NORTH shows Inuit protagonists trying to escape their dreary existence in the cold wilderness – but their downright heroic attempts often end in delirium or in the hospital. OF THE NORTH is something like the vice version of the classic documentary film, NANOOK OF THE NORTH. It couldn’t be farther removed from exoticist fantasies of the »noble savage« living in harmony with nature. Above all, this film is a document of self-reliant empowerment: these indigenous people do not need the help of ethnologists who treat them as research subjects, instead, they take cameras into their own hands and show the gritty harsh reality around them.
Of the North
Dominic Gagnon, Bruno Belanger
Selected filmography Dominic Gagnon
THE MAKING OF A COBRA (2004), BLOCKBUSTER HISTORY (2005), HIGH SPEED (2007), PIECES AND LOVE ALL TO HELL (2011), HOAX_CANULAR (2013)