Monday, August 12, 2013

I Always Knew "Nanook of the North" Was Fiction

rather than a straight documentary (I also have the DVD), but I had no idea what a mess of a personal life its director had.

Flaherty was a deadbeat dad, too, according to Wikipedia:

Melanie McGrath, a writer, writes that, while living in Northern Quebec for the year of filming Nanook, Flaherty had an affair with his lead actress, the young Inuit woman who played Nanook's wife. A few months after he left, she gave birth to his son, Josephie, whom he never acknowledged. Josephie was one of the Inuit who were relocated in the 1950s to very difficult living conditions in Resolute and Grise Fiord, in the extreme North (see High Arctic relocation). According to McGrath, Flaherty knew of his son's difficulties, but took no action.[9] Corroboration of McGrath's account is not readily available and Flaherty himself never discussed the matter.

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