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Qallunajatut (Urban Inuk)


12 October 2005


Qallunajatut (Urban Inuk) follows the lives of three Inuit in Montreal over the course of one hot and humid summer.Only two generations ago Inuit lived in small, nomadic hunting camps scattered across the vast Arctic landscape. Since the 1950s, this traditional lifestyle has undergone an astonishing transition from Stone Age to Information Age, as Inuit first relocated (often by force) to government-run settlements, and, more recently, beyond the settlement into southern cities.

We first encounter Jayson Kunnuk and his friend Charlie Adams (the renowned Nunavik singer/songwriter), who are both homeless and on the streets of Montreal. In this urban jungle, they meet Pitsulala Lyta, an Inuk Outreach Worker for the Native Friendship Centre. Originally from Iqaluit, Pitsulala came to Montreal at age 17 and lived for many years on the street, but has turned her life around and is now dedicated to helping homeless Inuit get their bearings in the city. Through their stories, the film explores the “urbanization” of the Inuit psyche, as Inuit move further and further away from a direct connection to the land that has sustained their culture for thousands of years.

What happens when an Inuk is dislocated from the traditional Arctic homelands that are so primordial to Inuit culture, history, and social structure? This film shatters stereotypes and gives audiences a vivid, emotional understanding of the challenges facing those who would live Inuit lives in contemporary urban environments. Featuring the original music of Charlie Adams and traditional ajaja songs of Igloolik, Nunavut.


Production Information

DIRECTOR(S): Jobie Weetaluktuk

PRODUCER(S): Katarina Soukup, Kunuk Cohn Productions Inc, Igloolik Isuma Productions Inc.

WRITER(S): Jobie Weetaluktuk, Jayson Kunnuk


SOUND RECORDIST: Marcel Fraser, Diane Carrière

EDITOR(S): Marie-Christine Sarda, Jean-Michel Laprise

SOUND DESIGN: Oleksa Lozowchuk

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Zacharias Kunuk, Norman Cohn


Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN)
Native Voice Film Festival









Isuma Distribution International c/o VTape, wandav [at] vtape [dot] org, +1.416.351.1317 fax-1509; info [at] isuma [dot] ca, +1.514.486.0707 fax-9851.


REGION: Montreal, Quebec

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    uploaded by: Marie-Hélène Cousineau

    channel: Arnait Video Productions

    DURATION: 52 min.
    GENRE: documentary
    FORMAT: video, colour
    LANGUAGE: Inuktitut, Fr-Eng st
    DIRECTORS: Mary Kunuk, Marie-Hélène Cousineau
    PRODUCERS: Mary Kunuk, Marie-Helene Cousineau
    SOUND: Katarina Soukup , Luke Taqqaugaq
    CAMERA: Marie-Helene Cousineau
    SCRIPT WRITER: Mary Kunuk
    EDITOR: Marie-Christine Sarda
    FUNDING: Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada
    SELECTED SCREENINGS: APTN (Canada), Land Insight Film Festival (Montréal, 2003), Maori television (New-Zealand, 2005), Native American film and Video Festival (New-York, 2003)


    Abandoned by her father, a White RCMP officer, Vivi Kunuk was adopted by the Inuk family of her mother who raised her as a boy. This is but one remarkable chapter in her life.

    With her husband Enuki, she raised eight children, including award-winning filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk, living most of the year on the land as her nomadic ancestors did prior to the creation of government settlements in the 1950's. Surrounded by her grandchildren, she recounts stories about the land she knows intimately and her life's destiny on Baffin Island.

    The history of changes experienced by Inuit people in the last sixty years is contained in the stories of Vivi Kunuk.

    uploaded date: 16-02-2015