A campaign led by influential animal protection organizations, backed by many international celebrities, has led to a significant restriction on commercial seal hunting. This step was also disastrous for Inuit, who are economically dependent on the hunting of seals. The film’s Inuit director points out the damages her nation has suffered from, e.g. a ban on the import of seal products into the EU. She documents and actively supports Inuit arguments that seal hunting is no worse than standard animal husbandry in Europe. However, the Inuit efforts clash with the environmentalists’ attitude. In the film, the latter play the part of a powerful global player, who ignores the rights and traditions of an endangered ethnic group, disrupting the traditional view of the agenda of ecological movements and proving how hard it is to align economic aspects with ecological ones everywhere in the world.
- Audience Award, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival (2016)
- Best Canadian Documentary, Available Light Film Festival (2017)
Alethea Arnaquq-Baril is an Inuit filmmaker from the Canadian Arctic, where her production company, Unikkaat Studios, is based. For her award-winning APTN documentary, Tunniit: Retracing the Lines of Inuit Tattoos, Alethea travelled across the Arctic to speak with elders about Inuit tattoo practices and the causes of their near-disappearance—before getting her own traditional face tattoos. She also directed the hypnotic short, Inuit High Kick, the award-winning NFB animation, Lumaajuuq: The Blind Boy and the Loon, and the animated short, Sloth. The latter was one of 15 shorts selected by renowned film programmer Danny Lennon for Telefilm’s Perspective Canada screenings at the Cannes Film Market. She was an executive producer on Miranda de Pencier’s award-winning, Throat Song and co-produced both Arctic Defenders, a feature documentary by John Walker, and, the feature documentary Experimental Eskimos with White Pine Pictures. Most recently, Alethea directed Aviliaq: Entwined as part of the Embargo Project.