Documentary film at Creston library examining disappearing culture

Web Lead

The Creston and District Public LIbrary will show Vanishing Point on Feb. 14.

The Creston and District Public LIbrary will show Vanishing Point on Feb. 14.

“As the world melts under our feet, we must find the best way for our journey.” A dog team pulls a family across the vast sea ice of Greenland, but with the terrain melting beneath them, the dogs break through the surface, plunging into frigid polar waters.

People of the North are coming to terms with the unprecedented changes facing all Arctic peoples. For those living in the Far North, climate change is not a debatable scientific point, it’s a very real force changing the way they have lived for centuries.

Vanishing Point, a National Film Board documentary film production to be presented at the Creston and District Public Library on Feb. 14, tells the story of Navarana, an Inughuit elder from the most remote corner of the planet: the northwest tip of Greenland. Thanks to her ancestor, an Inuit shaman who led an epic journey across the High Arctic in the 1860s, Navarana is connected by blood to a group of Canadian Inuit.

Today she worries about the future of her people, as they face the greatest social and environmental challenges in their history. She embarks on hunting journeys with families of two communities — one on Canada’s Baffin Island, the other in her neighbouring Greenland — and discovers that while the two groups share common values, they are adapting differently to outside influences and to the inescapable changes that affect their way of life. Navarana draws inspiration and hope from the ties that still bind the two communities, as well as from the legacy of her intrepid ancestor.

Narrated by Navarana (who still lives in Greenland) in subtitled Inuktitut, Vanishing Point is classic National Film Board — gorgeously shot and leisurely paced, offering an insightful, sympathetic glimpse into a very different culture. In creating Vanishing Point, Canmore, Alta., filmmakers Stephen A. Smith and Julia Szucs, who are both environmental scientists, desired to “get away from the intellectual side of things and get to the heart of the story that’s really about people and their struggle in the face of change.”

Vanishing Point will be preceded by the animated short, Islet, a whimsical ode to the Arctic.

Vanishing Point and Islet run at 7 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Creston and District Public Library (rear entrance). Admission is free. Running time is 90 minutes.

Please note that the NFB Film Club films are not (necessarily) added to the library’s collection. If you want to see a film please come to the screening at the library. Alternatively, NFB Film Club features are available for viewing through the NFB website (www.nfb.ca) for a small fee.

—CRESTON AND DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY