The White Dawn (1974)
November 10, 2022 6:47 AM - Subscribe

n 1896, three American whalers are taken in by an Inuit village in the Arctic after getting stranded in the ice during a hunt. While condescending officer Billy (Warren Oates) introduces the locals to gambling, Black harpooner Portagee (Louis Gossett Jr.) grows closer to the villagers as he gets used to a life without racism. Cabin boy Daggett (Timothy Bottoms) becomes the most integrated in the community, falling in love with the clan leader's youngest wife.

Directed by Philip Kaufman. Screenplay by James Houston, Thomas Rickman.

Currently available for digital rental in the US on multiple outlets. JustWatch listing.

Presented as part of roolya_boolya's sponsored theme day, in which I'll be posting six movies with an Arctic/life in the polar circle/snowy theme. Donate $20 to MeFi and I'll post six movies on the theme of your choice, too!
posted by DirtyOldTown (2 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:48 AM on November 10, 2022

I watched this one last year and you know I didn't mind it. They use real Inuit actors and location shooting on Baffin Island as opposed to say white actors and Hollywood sets which won points from me. The film is fairly episodic and moves at a fairly leisurely paced. It has little to no expository dialogue, probably one of the first films from Hollywood to have substantial scenes in Inuktitut. The shittiness of colonialism is on display with othering, gambling & drinking but they are shown as, rightly, as destructive behaviours. I thought the ethnographic detail was fairly decent (at least based on my knowledge) and managed to mostly avoid stereotypes. Worth seeking out.
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:53 AM on November 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

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