The Lost Worlds Of Flaherty Summary

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As a young boy in Michigan, Flaherty spent little time in school and more time living a nomadic, frontier life with his father, a mining engineer. His family soon moved to Canada and he soon found himself prospecting for gold and iron ore from camp to camp and during this series of expeditions, Flaherty learned to survive in the wilderness from the miners and the local Inuit (“The Lost Worlds of Flaherty”).
After a second expedition to the Hudson Bay area, upon the suggestion of his boss, Sir William Mackenzie, Flaherty bought a Bell and Howell 16 mm film camera and decided to make a visual record of the extraordinary lives and customs he witnessed in the Canadian north (“The Lost Worlds of Flaherty”). Flaherty mentions in the preface of Nanook of the North that when he was not seriously engaged in exploratory work, he would compile films of the Eskimos living with him (“The Lost Worlds of Flaherty”). He also notes that he has no prior experience in filming. Considering the quality of Nanook, I find this particularly remarkable. That said, Flaherty’s first efforts to make his visual record of the desolate Canadian north were wasted due to the film catching fire just as Flaherty finished editing it. Flaherty went north again, for the sole purpose of making a film, and this ultimately led to the making of Nanook of the North, which is essentially a typified, romanticized version of a young Inuk man and his family’s life and struggles (“The Lost Worlds of Flaherty”).
Even though some parts of his documentaries were staged, I believe Flaherty staged some of the events in his documentaries to present a more compelling story, and not necessarily to deceive the viewers or portray a skewed depiction of the subject. Also, given the technology at that time, Flaherty might have staged some scenes in his documentaries for practicality purposes. I don’t think anyone would want to waste film just filming mundane everyday activities, given that film is expensive and hard to come by during the time. I believe Flaherty staged some scenes to create a structure for his documentaries. He did it to make the audience relate to his work more. That said, Flaherty was still a man of his time and he definitely did not see his

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