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World Premiere of the Documentary “Trapped in a Human Zoo” at Northern Lights 2016

Hello everyone,

What a memorable evening it was last Thursday at the world premiere of the documentary Trapped in a Human Zoo: Based on Abraham’s Diary. Held at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa, the event was presented by Pix3 Films and the Nunatsiavut government, in collaboration with the Northern Lights 2016 trade show.

 Charles "Saali" Keelan surrounded by Jaaji and Chelsey June of the duo Twin Flames.


Charles “Saali” Keelan, who portrays Abraham Ulrikab in the documentary Trapped in a Human Zoo, surrounded by his friends Jaaji and Chelsey June of the duo Twin Flames. Jaaji and Chelsey co-authored the song Isuma which is part of the film’s soundtrack. Photo posted on Twin Flames’ Facebook page.

Given the high volume of people who had expressed an interest in attending, the organizers decided to add a second screening. Were present: senators Charlie Watt (Nunavik) and Dennis Patterson (Nunavut), Daniel Pottle, Nunatsiavut’s minister of Finance, Patricia Kemuksigak, Nunatsiavut’s Minister of Education, representatives of the Embassy of Germany in Ottawa, many delegates of the Northern Lights 2016 trade show, as well as numerous friends, family, and colleagues involved in one way or another with the production of the documentary. All were welcomed by Sean Lyall, Nunatsiavut’s Minister of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

Sean Lyall

Sean Lyall, Nunatsiavut’s Minister of Culture, Recreation and Tourism addresses the audience. Photo tweeted by Tourism Nunatsiavut. Thank you Sophie Tremblay-Morissette!

Producer Roch Brunette introduces the film "Trapped in a Human Zoo".

Producer Roch Brunette introduces the film “Trapped in a Human Zoo”. Photo: Jean Rivet.

Both screenings were followed by a short question/answer period. Questions involved getting an update on the status of the repatriation of the remains, knowing if there is hope of finding the remains of Paingu, Nuggasak and Sara who died in Germany, what happened to the Inuit’s furs after their death, … In the first question/answer period, one remark stood out, that of Nunatsiavut Minister Daniel Pottle who, while being touched by the story, wanted to correct a statement made in the documentary to the effect that the decision to repatriate the remains was now in the hands of diplomats. Minister Pottle clearly expressed that the people of Nunatsiavut are the only ones who can decide whether or not the remains are repatriated. I agreed that this very brief statement could be misinterpreted,and clarified that the decision is indeed in the hands of the Nunatsiavut people. Diplomats are standing by, ready to act as per the Nunatsiavummiut’s decision. The next day, I received emails saying that they were moved, almost to tears, by Minister’s Pottle statement.

In the second session, Mr. I. Peters remarked how impressed he was in front of the Inuit’s resilience, in front of how they did not show any anger whatsoever despite all that their ancestors had to endure.

May this documentary become a useful tool for Inuit and non-Inuit to engage in a dialogue.

Sean Lyall answers some questions from the public.

Sean Lyall answers some questions from the public. Photo tweeted by Tourism Nunatsiavut. Thank you Sophie Tremblay-Morissette!

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Researcher France Rivet, producer Roch Brunette, and film director Guilhem Rondot during the question/answer period. Photo: Jean Rivet

Minister Patricia Kemuksigak with author France Rivet. Photo tweeted by Tourism Nunatsiavut. Thanks go to Sophie Tremblay-Morissette.

Nunatsiavut Minister Patricia Kemuksigak with author France Rivet. Photo tweeted by Tourism Nunatsiavut. Thank you Sophie Tremblay-Morissette!

 

Guests waiting for the screening to start.

Book signing session with author France Rivet, Nunatsiavut Minister Patricia Kemuksigak (left), Nunatsiavut Tourism Director Sophie Tremblay-Morissette, and Lisette Lambert.

 

Reception area where people wait for the start of the screening.

Reception area where people wait for the start of the screening.

The feedback received has been extremely positive. Here is just one of the many testimonials received over the last few days.

The film is magnificent. It tells a very complicated story — several complicated stories, in fact — with great clarity. The threading of the now and then narratives, and the voices of numerous different perspectives are woven masterfully and to powerful effect. We experience the inexpressible tragedy and, at the same time, the remarkable resilience of the Inuit. I’m sure that the film will have a powerful impact and a long life.

Tom Gordon, Professor Emeritus, School of Music, Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland-and-Labrador

We are very anxious for all of Canada to see the documentary on February 11, when it airs on CBC’s The Nature of Things with David Suzuki. And for the rest of the world to hear this story when the film gets to be shown in film festivals and other venues.

Thanks to all of you who took part of this most memorable event which was held on January 28, the eve of Abraham’s 171st birthday.
France Rivet

 

1 comment to World Premiere of the Documentary “Trapped in a Human Zoo” at Northern Lights 2016

  • Pitro

    Congratulations to the entire team for this touching documentary.
    Knowledge of the authenticity of the facts, allows us to realize the importance of remembering! Thank you France for this invitation, it was a memorable evening.

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