Documentary looking at seal hunting from the point of view of an Inuit community who see it as a way of life
Angry Inuk is director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s attempt to make the case for her often-overlooked community and their complicated love affair with a controversial practice. It’s a grassroots challenge to the lobbyists’ marketing machine and the 2009 ban that threatens the Inuit economy.
For most of its running time, the film follows the campaign documentary route too conventionally, plodding its way through a war between a plucky David and a PR Goliath. Though there are interesting glimpses of a political thriller bubbling beneath its surface: a tale of activism for profit and colonial attitudes cloaked under seemingly progressive policy-making. In these moments, Arnaquq-Baril’s storytelling channels the Gonzo dynamism of Moore or Spurlock, and successfully taps into the debate’s inherent drama.
But up top, on the barren ice, it’s a film of quiet dissent. And while its cause is worthwhile, its fight is not always cinematic. [Phillip Kennedy]