Every civilized human being, whatever his conscious development, is still an archaic man at the deeper levels of his psyche. Just as the human body connects us with the mammals and displays numerous relics of earlier evolutionary stages going back to even the reptilian age, so the human psyche is likewise a product of evolution which, when followed up to its origins, show countless archaic traits.
Collected Works 10
The White Dawn is a 1974 film about a true story of three whalers who were rescued by Inuit It was filmed on location in Baffin Bay, with the local Inuit as cast members; it captures the community and life of the Inuit, including the presence of shamanism.
It is not a “feel good” movie, but a realistic portrayal of what can happen when cultures clash; in the Inuit view, the whalers were “dog-children” and “savages.” The stark and soulful landscape is a also a major character in the movie… It is enough to make one want to find the Northwest Passage.
from the Film Society of Lincoln Center:
As John Ford said to a teenage Spielberg: “Where’s the horizon?” In Philip Kaufman’s 1974 film it rises almost to the top of the frame, an unforgiving expanse governed by harsh winds and superstition. Kaufman’s direction is simultaneously immersive and detached, his camerawork flipping between clockwork-exact (tension-breaking wide shots, static compositions in which landscape takes precedence) and handheld-intuitive (jostling POVs from a dogsled, the blink-of-an-eye action of a polar-bear slaying). The effect recalls the subjective-objective push-pull of New Journalism. Though the Inuit dialogue is helpfully subtitled for the viewer, garrulous Warren Oates and fellow stranded whalers Timothy Bottoms and Lou Gossett struggle to understand: in a narrative that’s part Jack London, part On the Silver Globe, the hostile landscape and unpredictable encounters with native life are experienced by the trio like a head-spinning cinema of attractions, and by the viewer as a new world dazzlingly opened up by Kaufman’s stark visuals.