Critical Writing Index

New Documentary Recounts Bizarre Climate Changes Seen by Inuit Elders

by Guy Dixon

The Globe and Mail, Oct 19, 2010, pp. 1-2

Summary of Zacharias Kunuk's documentary "Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change." The film asks Inuit elders to describe the severe environmental changes in the Arctic that they are experiencing. The elders speak in their own language and rather than address the scientific community are simply imparting their expert knowledge gained from previous elders as well as their close relationship to the land.

The article takes up and addresses the most controversial claim in the film of the elders believing that the Earth has actually changed its tilt due to the sun appearing to set kilometers from where it used to. In response to this idea is the scientific community's explanation that this appearance is a result of pollution in the air changing the light of the sunset to refract differently and thus appear to have moved. This scientific explanation is not included by Kunuk in the film. Instead the film only deals with the observations and knowledge of the elders.

ITEM 2010.137 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Inuit Knowledge and Climate ChangeZacharias Kunuk

Atanarjuat: The Fast RunnerZacharias Kunuk

The Journals of Knud RasmussenZacharias Kunuk