Unakuluk (Dear Little One)
YEAR OF PRODUCTION: 2005
DURATION: 46 minutes
FORMAT: Video (colour)
LANGUAGE: Inuktitut, Eng/Fr s-t
FEATURING: Alexandre Apak Cousineau, Marie-Hélène Cousienau, Madeline Ivalu,Paulossie Qulitalik, Mary Qulitalik, Herve Paniaq, Rachel Uyurasuk, Atuat Akkirtirq, Mary Kunuk
DIRECTOR: Marie-Hélène Cousineau with the collaboration of MAry Kunuk
PRODUCER: Arnait Video Productions
CAMERA: Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Natar Ungalaq
SCRIPT WRITER: Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Georgette Duchaine
EDITOR: Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Viviane Delisle
FUNDING: Canadian Television Fund, Telefilm Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
SELECTED SCREENINGS: Médiathèque du Gonzier (Martinique, 2005), Native American Film and Video Festival (New York, 2006), Etnografisk Museum (Stockholm, 2006), Channel 24 (Igloolik)
Rooted in tradition, adoption is a reality that all Inuit families have experienced. In Inuit culture, adopting a child from a relative, friend or acquaintance is a common practice. Marie-Hélène Cousineau, the adoptive mother of Alexandre Apak, lived in Igloolik, a small island southwest of Baffin Island in the Arctic, for many years.
This documentary, which she directed in collaboration with Mary Kunuk (an old friend and colleague), explores Inuit family relations through the personal histories of women who have experienced adoption in one way or another. In a parallel thread, the film documents the creation of an intricate felt wall-hanging that depicts key moments from their lives. All skilled seamstresses, these women of Igloolik use fabric to draw, cut, and embroider their personal life stories – an intimate portrait of family ties and a vibrant illustration of the role adoption has always played in Inuit culture.