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Arctic Son


List Price: CDN$ 29.99
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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TEDIUM (notice the upper-case letters)! May 31 2009
By Jeffery Mingo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
A biracial Inuit is getting into drugs and alcohol in his mother's town, so he is sent to his Inuit father's small town in the Yukon. This documentary is meant to show the iconic tales of overcoming addiction and father-son bonding. Unfortunately, it is so boring and dull. Watching this tested my patience in so many painful ways.
I'm an African American and in my father's generation young folk who were getting into the city's bad habits were often sent to their grandparents' homes down south. I have a friend whose sister was sent to India for the same reason. Thus, I understand how moving to a "slower" environment is a tool that families of many cultures employ. Still, this work was painfully dull.
Both the father and the son speak in mumbly, monotone voices. Sometimes their words appear on the screen, but most times they do not. There's an old saying: "Idleness is the devil's tool." There is much addiction in rural or non-busy locales. This scene could drive a person to bad habits, rather than keeping one away from them. The father teaches his son survival tools, but they didn't seem like cultural ones. The son learns how to catch fish and skin rabbits. However, he never learns an indigenous language. For the most part, you never see him interacting with any other Inuits; it's just him and his father all boring day and night. He doesn't go to cultural events. He never goes to group therapy with other Inuits fighting addiction. The father sings songs, but they are mainstream country music songs. This has nothing to do with Pacific Northwest native culture.
The only scene I loved in this movie was when the father, son, and two other indigenous men were talking about how global warming was ruining their lives directly. The son looks like Matt Damon, so if you like that type, you may want to check him out.
If this weren't non-fiction, I would say analyze the son's hair. While with his father, he has thick, blond hair. When returning to Washington State, he shaves it off and seems to have jet black hair.
The son doesn't really swear off bad habits. He's one of those struggling people who benefits from being in a different scene. I'm not sure this will help viewers struggling with addictions.
The extras have deleted scenes. However, why watch deleted scenes in a documentary so dull?! Next they interview the director and his section shows more people than the actual documentary. His 10-minute yack was ten times more interesting than the longer work.
Perhaps "reality" shows have spoiled me. They chose everyday people who are extroverted and it was hard to watch two men so quiet, passive, and uninteresting. The father-son tensions in "Get on the Bus" spoke to me much more than this non-fictional display did.
I would love to learn more about the people of the Arctic. However, this dull, nothing-doing work grated on my nerves sooooo bad. I'm actually surprised it found a distributor giving how it takes boringness and runs with it.
Going Home Feb. 23 2012
By marsmoon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
A native youth is getting into trouble in Seattle and his mother sends him to live with his father, who lives on the Old Crow Reservation in a cabin. The only entertainment is, the father plays the harmonica and sings. He also catches huge fish, hunts game, goes snowmobiling to get around, and basically lives off the land in a rustic Northwestern climate. One sees the son go through a gradual transformation. There is not much in terms of words being exchanged between them. The father is pretty stoic, but you can sense the love and warmth he feels toward his son as he teaches him the ways of his life. Wordless is the cultural nuances that the father is conveying to his son through his actions. The son, initially with hollow look in his eyes, builds energy, he follows along with his father, he learns the ways, he gets some direction, maybe he understands his father and himself better. The film shows the son returning to visit his mother and getting back into the city life ways, drinking and partying again and getting that hollow look in his eyes. What will he do? This movie is, among many things, a commentary about urban life where we have it all, but it is so superficial and lacking in depth and soul, it saps the soul of meaning and reverence. In contrast, living in nature where one must struggle to survive, in the elements, there is challenge, a test for a man to prove himself, one feels connected with nature, his roots, his traditions. This is being lost, has been lost, and what is the trend, the meaning, and the implications for our future? I saw this movie on PBS a few times and it lingers in my mind. It is a great movie.

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