Thanks to Winnipeg Cinematheque, a film about Canada’s rare and endangered Inuit sled dogs has finally screened in a Canadian cinema, two years after it debuted at Toronto Film Festival.
Here’s a link to a review in the Winnipeg Free Press:
And here’s some direct feedback from people who saw it:
And we thought we were braving the elements getting out to Winnipeg’s Cinematheque on a snowy night! What a beautiful film – I’m still feeling the effects of this visit to the real Churchill, and it was fascinating to see the relationships between the three species. (I knew polar bears are enormous, but watching this, I could truly feel their size and power.) My grandfather used his sled dogs in Manitoba’s Interlake to get around and to check his trap lines, and being from an urban family that was never without an over-indulged dog, I was appalled when told his dogs had been tied outside day and night, year-round; and what’s worse, they were just thrown frozen fish to eat in the winter! I heard the explanations: these dogs would be miserable indoors, and they were well-nourished and cared for, but there was always a part of me that didn’t buy it. I’m looking at it a bit differently now. I don’t like the chains or the lack of purpose for a breed wired for working, but it’s a complicated issue in Churchill. The world has too few obstinate characters like Brian Ladoon – as much as they irritate their neighbours and bureaucrats, they’re often the people who accomplish important things. I don’t know if there’s a “point,” as some ask, to what he’s doing, but how could it possibly be better if he didn’t help to conserve this amazing breed? Your film let him reveal himself quite naturally as an imperfect, charismatic, slightly goofball and genuinely dedicated person who also seems to be in his natural environment. Thank you for making this film, and thanks to Dave Barber for selecting it.
Loved the film I saw it with 3 friends that I met 25 years ago in Churchill. We all know Brian and seeing your film brought back memories of the incredibly beautiful and harsh reality of Churchill. Men like Brian and many others depicted in the film are bigger than life, and the film served as a reminder to all of us what a completely life changing experience that Churchill was and remains. You captured the true essence of the place in all its grandeur and simplicity. Is the film available for purchase? (Yes, it is. see my web store at costabotes.co.nz)
I myself did grow up in rankin inlet Nunavut . I owned a kennel of Canadian inuit dogs. When I was younger that was the only dogs in the arctic. I used them daily running a trap line. After school. And running some races. My wife is Inuit and her uncles where the last nomadic family that refused to live like the white men. They lived whit there dogs in an outpost camp outside of iglooliq. They did not use snowmachines. Only dogs. Then a man called bill carpenter was hired by the n.w.t government . To breed an re stock the qimmiq population. He had government funding and did this for numerous years here in Yellowknife . He started by flying into the outpost camp and buying dogs from my wifes uncles. But he had funding and issued land outside of Yellowknife . As for Brian he is doing this in his own. And that is what I admire .
Like him or not there for few people on this earth that would persue or take on such a task with such passion. And I think you truly captured that in the film.
You didn’t make him out to be a hero. You showed a man with a purpose and a passion To fallow his dream of saving these animals.
Great job keep up the good work.
The best documentary I have ever watched.