Messing Around With the North

In Chapter 2 of Saunders, Errol Morris claimed that documentaries with a journalistic approach took away from the art of it.  Robert Flaherty filmed Nanook of the North and it was noted in Chapter 3 and in viewing the film that he possibly made alterations for the betterment of the movie.  For example, the camera would not have fit inside the built igloo, and the confusion among the wives was never fully addressed.  It begs to ask how much the director can influence “truth” and what the intentions are, as he did not set out to make a documentary necessarily but succeeded regardless.  I don’t think much harm was actually done.  Watching what these people do and go through was the point and did enough: it did what it was supposed to do.  So while it could be called an observatory natured documentary, I still think Flaherty put in the heart and made it personal like Morris spoke of in the first place.


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