Our Journey - Page 3
The Journals is a modern film about modern thinking. It challenges diverse audiences to go beyond stereotypes of denial, bitterness or guilt; and toward healing, by watching the same film from different sides and thinking of the other audience watching it too.
Like tension, healing has two sides: Avva’s intelligence, cultural sophistication and universally familiar family drama force viewers to experience the colonial myth in a new way. At the same time, Aboriginal viewers see in the fully-formed humanity of The Journals’ characters a new dignity in their own great-grandparents, and respect for lost cultural memories many still hope to recover.
The advent of High-Definition digital distribution brings new answers to the question of who gets to see films and who doesn’t. Low-cost portable HD projection makes it possible to bring films to remote audiences outside the 35mm grid. Distributing The Journals to distant communities where 80% of Aboriginal people still live employs HD as a meaningful, humane technology, to open a healing discourse on a troubled history.
The Journals is modern HD filmmaking focused more on content than technique. Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn combine six decades of experience from the digital (i.e. video, actuality) side. They use HD’s clarity to intensify the authenticity and lived reality of the film’s characters, who include Kunuk’s own great-grandparents and many of his cast and crew. Playing the shaman Avva, lead actor Pakak Inukshuk recounts his life story and spiritual beliefs using Avva’s own words from 1922, already forbidden as sinful by Christian missionaries but transcribed for us from Knud Rasmussen’s actual journals, and never spoken again by Inuit until now.
The Journals of Knud Rasmussen recovers a shaman’s own words and carries them across 85 years of cultural silence to modern Inuit and other audiences, giving the title of the film new urgency. These ARE The Journals of Knud Rasmussen which, after all, reflected a contract between Knud and Avva in 1922, to insure Avva’s story would live into the changing future, long after it had been silenced in his own time. Blurring the conventional boundaries between memory and reality, fiction and documentary, film and video, and past and present, The Journals of Knud Rasmussen engages the future of HD as a vehicle of time-travel for the benefit of humanity.