Documentary focuses on challenges of living in the North

NANAIMO – Vanishing point part of TheatreOne’s Fringe Flicks series.

Canada’s north is the focus of the next Fringe Flick from TheatreOne.

Vanishing Point, an award-winning documentary from Canadian directors Stephen Smith and Julia Szucs, tells the story of two Inuit communities of the circumpolar north – one on Canada’s Baffin Island, the other in northwest Greenland – that are linked by a migration led by an intrepid shaman.

Navarana, an Inuit elder and descendant of the shaman, draws inspiration and hope from the ties that still bind the two communities to face the consequences of rapid social and environmental change.

“As the world melts under our feet, we must find the best way for our journey,” narrates Navarana.

Wondering what life is like for her distant cousins in today’s Arctic, she sets out on hunting journeys in both her homeland and on Baffin Island. While discovering that these isolated groups of Inuit share much in common, Navarana also witnesses striking differences in lifestyle between Greenlanders and Canadians.

The film contrasts Navarana’s northern traditions with those in Nunavut, where the people drive ATVs, buy cereal and discard the most delicious parts of the narwhal (its intestines).

Despite their differences, both northern communities share an inhospitable terrain. Smith explained the goal of this film during a question-and-answer session in Ottawa: “The representation we are trying to give is of life as it is.” That representation includes showing the dangerous impact of thinning sea ice on the families who travel the tundra by dog teams. At a time when her people are up against vast and inescapable challenges, Navarana looks for the way forward and considers what has been lost and what has been gained.

Vanishing Point screens at Avalon Cinema on Sunday (Oct. 27) at 1, 4 and 7 p.m., and Monday (Oct. 28) at 7 p.m. Tickets $12. Subscriptions also available. Please call 250-754-7587 or visit for more information.