Nanook Taxi One Night Only!

Wednesday April 29, at 7:00pm

– Filmmakers Ed Folger and Tara Arnatsiaq-Barnes in attendance! –

Nanook Taxi (1977)
A film from Ottawa Filmmaker Ed Folger

Celebrate Nunavut’s 10th anniversary!


79 minutes | NR | DV | Ed Folger | Canada/US


SAW VIDEO GROUNDBREAKERS SERIES: In celebration of Nunavut’s 10th anniversary, SAW Video and the Mayfair Theatre present this rarely-seen made-in-Iqaluit feature about a hunter from Cape Dorset who must adjust to town life when he takes a job driving cab in Iqaluit.  Filmed in English and Inuktitut with a local cast led by the late actor, Joanasie Salomonie, Nanook Taxi is an important landmark in northern filmmaking.

Preceding Nanook Taxi will be a gem of short by Tara Arnatsiaq-Barnes, made during SAW Video’s famed youth program.  Filmed in sumptuous Super 8, Trailing Through offers an alternative concept of the modern Inuit woman.

Both filmmakers will be in attendance.

Watch the movie trailer: click here

The Story of Nanook Taxi

At the beginning of the drama, Ningiuksiak (Joanasie Salomonie), an Inuk who lives in the settlement of Cape Dorset , in the Canadian Northwest Territories, is on a seal hunt. However, after hours of hunting, he loses his seal when it disappears in an ice hole. When he returns to camp, he discovers that his wife, Mukittuq (Kanayuk Salomonie), has shot a seal — her first — thus ensuring that the family will have fresh meat.

On their way back to Cape Dorset , Nigiuksiak’s snowmobile breaks down. Since he does not have the money to fix it, and since he is tempted to try another kind of life, he decides to leave his family and fly to the town of Frobisher Bay to make money.

Ningiuksiak’s cousin in Frobisher Bay , Ashoona (Mickey Turqtuq), a somewhat urbanized Inuk who makes his living as a construction worker or as a cab driver, has drifted away from hunting and the traditional way of life of the remote settlements. Ashoona takes Ningiuksiak in hand and helps him to get a job driving for the Nanook Taxi Company.

Ningiuksiak has difficulties adapting to “city” ways, and one night he causes raised eyebrows when he orders and eats raw, frozen fish at a fancy restaurant, while out with his cousin.

Ningiuksiak becomes friendly with Leona (Elisapee Davidee), a modern Inuit woman — in vivid contrast to his wife — who works as a disc jockey at the local radio station. At first she is intrigued with his old-world habits and ways of thinking, but after he arrives at her apartment falling-down drunk, she boots him out.

Increasingly unhappy and bewildered, Ningiuksiak takes to spending his money on liquor and his time in seedy nightclubs. One night, half-heartedly trying to show that he is having a good time, he sees his wife. She has come to take him home to Cape Dorset.

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