Travelling to the Arctic for the first time, Carmen arrives in Iqaluit to tend to her husband, Gilles, a construction worker who has been seriously injured. Trying to get to the bottom of ...
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Travelling to the Arctic for the first time, Carmen arrives in Iqaluit to tend to her husband, Gilles, a construction worker who has been seriously injured. Trying to get to the bottom of what happened, she strikes up a friendship with Noah, Gilles' Inuk friend, and realizes they share a similar story. Together, Carmen and Noah head out on the Frobisher Bay - she, looking for answers to her questions; he, trying to stop his son from committing what can't be undone.
Iqaluit is a unique creature. Director Benoit Pilon has blended Quebec cinema and the fledgling Inuit film industry before in his 2008 The Necessities of Life, shortlisted for the Oscar for Foreign Film, but Iqaluit goes a step even further in adding a substantial amount of English to the French and Inuktitut dialogue. Unfortunately, that turns out to be a weakness- the English dialogue, only spoken between French Canadian and Inuit characters who don't know each other's first language, is often awkward and clumsy, and the performances also suffer in English. It's not just that it's broken English- even broken English doesn't have to sound unnatural if written right.
The good news is that the performances are otherwise good, particularly in the first half where Marie-Josée Croze plays the grieving widow. Anyway, the performances and dialogue aren't all there is to Iqaluit- stunning cinematography, cold but vast, with blues and greys being particularly important to the colour scheme. The score is lyrical, and most important, the overall plot structure carries an impact. The racial conflict is understated and brief, but underlies much of the drama.
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