David Ruben Piqtoukun, sculptor, Toronto
Qallunaaliaqpallianiq/Heading South



QALLUNAALIAQPALLIANIQ - HEADING SOUTH (2011)

One hour documentary High Definition
Length: 52 minutes

 

Director: Guy Simoneau
Research and writing: Guy Simoneau
Directors of photography: Alexandre Domingue and Nicolas Venne
Soundman: Daniel Provencher
Assistant Director: Jacinthe Lauzier
Editor: Alain Després
Music: Alain Auger

Production: Productions Grand Nord
Producer : Ian McLaren
Broadcasters: Société Radio-Canada

World Première at Montreal World Film Festival 2011

“Continuing with his passion for making films that expose and remove prejudices, Quebec filmmaker Guy Simoneau has created Qallunaaliaqpallianiq-Heading South, a compelling new documentary that focuses on Inuit living in southern cities of Canada… The strength of  the documentary is how on a personal level all the characters’lives are connected to their community-something we should all strive for.”
Akiva Levitas , Nation magazine

Les Inuit urbains prêts pour l'avenir, in Le Devoir, June 9 2012(Caroline Montpetit)

« La 35e édition du Festival des films du monde bat son plein et, comme c'est chaque fois le cas, quelques perles se cachent hors les murs de la compétition. Avec 383 œuvres proposées, encore faut-il les dénicher. En voici réunies quatre; petit collier de longs métrages valant le coup d'œil. 

« Le plus récent documentaire de Guy Simoneau (Plusieurs tombent en amour, Simenon en Amérique) accompagne quelques Inuits dans leurs pérégrinations migratoires. Hormis ses qualités historiques, sociologiques et anthropologiques, Qallunaaliaqpallianiq-Direction Sud pose un regard empreint d'humanisme sur ses participants. »
François Lévesque, Le Devoir 

 Film screened, Heading South Nunavik Magazine, Bob Mesher

The documentary will be showned at Radio-Canada on June 15th 2012, at 9:00PM


Synopsis

This one-hour documentary focuses on Inuit living in cities in the South of Canada. This population represents about 18% of the Inuit population (55,000) living in northern Canada. The reasons for their "migration" in the South are diverse: job search, academic, personal problems. The vision that I communicate through this documentary is an outlook tinged with hope. Most of the film's protagonists are somehow leaders, young and old Inuit, who have decided to take matters into their owns hands and regain a lost pride, a dignity foregone, and transmit those values to their own community their own way. Although they are living in cities, their approach remains oriented towards the good of their communities in the North. Their vision, bothInuit and contemporary, calls for new horizons.


Director's note

Filmed primarily in Nunavut and in three large Canadian cities – Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, Qallunaaliaqpallianiq-Heading South explores the stories of Inuit "migrants" to the South: their dreams, their accomplishments, their preoccupations, the paths they follow and their interactions with the outside world.

As a young Inuit from Nunavik told me once: "Sure we need hunters and fishers, but we also need intellectuals, artists and leaders who can speak for us outside our milieu, in order that people will perceive us differently".

For me, that meeting with this young man under the midnight sun, an evening in Puvirnituq, and his words became a source of inspiration and reflection for this film.

In that sense, this documentary offers a different point of view from the stereotypical representations of the Inuit – addiction, alcoholism, vagrancy – that we're presented with on a daily basis. These are the representations that the Inuit are trying to overcome, while steadfastly refusing to be depicted as victims.

The Canadian writer John Ralston Saul in his book Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada comments on this tendency to reduce native peoples just to their problems: "We have that new racism that which focuses us on Aboriginals as people in trouble with drugs, drink abuse and so on."

That's exactly the phenomen that takes place in the film in the Montreal suburb of Villeray, where part of the population, including the Mayor, showed their opposition to a building being converted into a Health Centre for Inuit from the North seeking health care. Sensing that they were not welcome, and being a prideful people, they withdrew from the project.

Through the Inuit who appear in this film, my goal has been to present a positive point of view. As Mary Simon, the National Leader of the Inuit of Canada says: "There's a new wind blowing over the Inuit". A new generation, proud and determined, is seeing the light, resolutely turning to the future and all the challenges that that implies.

Guy Simoneau

Reviews:

New documentary probes lives of urban Inuit, Nunatsiaq News

Far from home, Nation