Netsilik Eskimo Film Series

Q&A with: Asen Balikci

a series of 9 films and 21 half-hour parts
sci­en­tif­ic advice by Asen Balik­ci and Guy Mary-Rous­selière

A series of 9 films in 21 half-hour parts. These films reveal the live real­i­ty of tra­di­tion­al Eskimo life before the Euro­pean accul­tur­a­tion. The Net­si­lik Eski­mos of the Pelly Bay region in the Cana­di­an Arctic had long lived apart from other people and had depend­ed entire­ly on the land and their own inge­nu­ity to sus­tain life through the rigors of the Arctic year. The film­ing was done during the sum­mers of 1963 and 1964 and in the late winter of 1965 under the ethno­graph­ic direc­tion of Dr. Asen Balik­ci of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mon­tréal, assist­ed by Guy Mary-Rous­se­liere, O.M.I., both anthro­pol­o­gists of wide Arctic expe­ri­ence. Quentin Brown was Pro­duc­er-Direc­tor, and Kevin Smith the Exec­u­tive Pro­duc­er for the series. A min­i­mum of cul­tur­al recon­struc­tion was required during the film­ing; the Net­si­lik fam­i­lies read­i­ly agreed to live in the old way once more and showed con­sid­er­able apti­tude in recall­ing and rep­re­sent­ing the ear­li­er ways of life. The films were orig­i­nal­ly released in 1967. The effect of this film series is that of a field trip where stu­dents can observe Eskimo ways at their leisure and form their own impres­sions. The pace is unhur­ried; many of the Eskimo activ­i­ties are shown in close detail.

Asen Balikci

scientific adviser

Asen Balikci’s impres­sive inter­na­tion­al back­round is mir­rored in the corpus of films that he has pro­duced. Born to a Bul­gar­i­an family living in turkey in 1929 he soon moved to … read more

AT THE WINTER SEA ICE CAMP

part 1

Quentin Brown
Canada 1963-1964 | 36 Min. | BetaSP, OmeU
Q&A with: Asen Balikci
In late winter when the cold is severe, the people and dogs are glad to stop their trek and make camp. In the blue dusk the men probe the snow … read more

AT THE WINTER SEA ICE CAMP

part 2

Quentin Brown
Canada 1963-1964 | 36 Min. | BetaSP, OmeU
Q&A with: Asen Balikci
In the morn­ing the women spread the furs over the igloos to air. The chil­dren play, strik­ing a ball of fur with a bone bat. The men wait patient­ly for … read more

AT THE WINTER SEA ICE CAMP

part 3

Quentin Brown
Canada 1963-1964 | 30 Min. | BetaSP, OmeU
Q&A with: Asen Balikci
Work begins on a big com­mu­ni­ty igloo, and all share in the build­ing of it; one cuts, one car­ries, one builds, and so on. The chil­dren imi­tate. Women pile snow … read more