An Inuit child wanders away from his village, fascinated by a wild bird. His father follow his trail, dertermined to find him before he gets lost on the ice floe.
The title of the short film makes us of unusual font. This is reminiscent of the Inuikitut syllabary.
QUESTIONS FOR YOUNG VIEWERS
- Where is this short film set? How can you tell?
- Describe how the boy’s (Nanuk’s) clothing differs from the clothing of his father. What does this contrast represent?
- There is no dialogue throughout this story, yet the viewer understands something of Nanuk’s character through his body language and facial expressions. What sort of character is Nanuk?
- Describe how the father’s body language and facial expressions contrast with those of his son.
- The lighting outside is blue and bright. Describe the lighting and atmosphere inside the hut.
- The Tuurngait is a creature in Inuit mythology, but the Wikipedia entry points out that this form of ‘mythology’ is slightly different from other definitions. Explain in your own words.
- Why does Nanuk follow the bird?
- In fantasy fiction there is often a ‘portal’, in which the main character enters a magical realm. In this case the portal is hidden under the ice floe, accessed via a break in the ice. Think of other fantasy stories you have read. What else is used as a ‘portal’?
- As Nanuk enters the reflective icy cave, the viewer sees a kaleidoscopic effect, with multiple birds and multiple Nanuks. What is the significance of this?
- Inside the cave, what kind of sound effects are used to portray an eerie environment?
- The cave becomes scarier and scarier. How has the color scheme changed?
- In the spooky under-ice-floe world, animals are gigantic. In fantasy, size is often exaggerated as a technique. What is the effect of this technique? And can you think of any other stories in which large animals featured?
- At the end, the huge bear morphs into an image of the father. Why?