Nunavut filmmaker documents life in lockdown in her Igloolik home

·2 min read
Carol Kunnuk is the filmmaker behind the short filem 'Being Prepared,' which captures a sliver of life in Nunavut during COVID-19 lockdown. (Carol Kunnuk/National Film Board of Canada website - image credit)
Carol Kunnuk is the filmmaker behind the short filem 'Being Prepared,' which captures a sliver of life in Nunavut during COVID-19 lockdown. (Carol Kunnuk/National Film Board of Canada website - image credit)

A recent film by a Nunavut director is getting noticed.

As the global pandemic reached into the Arctic, an Inuk filmmaker in Nunavut made a documentary on how the unfamiliar new protocols affected her family and community.

Carol Kunnuk's 10-minute short film is a richly detailed and tender account of disruption and adjustment — specifically within her Igloolik home.

"This film is about the COVID situation we went through when we were first heard in Nunavut that COVID was now active and everyone had to isolate and follow health restrictions," Kunnuk said.

"I wanted to show the kind of situation we were in, in a small community, where there's no hospital, where there's no emergency room, and how we had to deal with COVID 19."

The film shows an intimate clip of her family at home — one child washing her hands and doing a craft, a baby being sung too, and most of it overlaid with audio of COVID-19 news announcements in both Inuktitut and English.

Kunnuk said at the time, children in the community could no longer attend school. She remembers that period as "a scary time for all of us."

"We couldn't visit our family anymore because of restrictions from the Health Department. Even though we were in the same community, I did not see my grand-kids for almost three months," she said.

"This was a film of me in a small house with two kids not able to go anywhere for about a couple months. And I had my daughters improvise, or to take the camera themselves," she said.

Part of the film shows family out on the sea ice checking fish nets.

The film is called Being Prepared and is being broadcast Monday night on Uvagut TV at 7 p.m. ET.

"The title of the film is 'Being Prepared' because we were getting ready and how we were going to adapt to this COVID-19 and to be prepared for emergency situations when it comes into a small community," she said.

The film is also featured on The National Film Board of Canada website.

"I am very honoured and pleased because I know National Film Board … supports Aboriginal filmmakers."

Kunnuk is a filmmaker, director, editor, producer and actor. She produces Inuit-style content released in Inuktitut.

"I like that they like what I have been producing or releasing in other projects."

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