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THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE
(Ce qu'il faut pour vivre)
Special Jury Prize, Public Award & Public Prize: Best Canadian Film Montréal World Film Fest
"A model of delicate emotional restraint, the handsome pic earns its many lump-in-throat moments" -Variety
Recommended! "There's a quiet Canadian elegance to it all" -NewCity Chicago
"Pilon avoids both [sentimental and didactic] traps with the clarity and simplicity of his approach... that lets the performances do the work, and the results are moving" -TimeOut Chicago
"The acting is understated and strong" -Chicago Reader
"Necessities knows just how to eke maximum poignancy from its events without seeming to manipulate for tearjerking effect. Ungalaaq's lovely performance easily sustains viewer involvement" -Chicago Tribune
After being diagnosed with tuberculosis, Tivii (Natar Ungalaaq, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner), an Inuit hunter from Baffin Island, is unexpectedly forced from his isolated home terrain by Canadian authorities and quarantined in a Quebec City tuberculosis sanitarium. Concerned for his family's survival, isolated from everything he knows, and stuck in a confusing environment with people that he cannot understand, Tivii slides into a deep depression and loses his will to live. Realizing the real threat to his well-being, Tivii's nurse, Carole (Éveline Gélinas), orchestrates the transfer of Kaki (Paul-André Brasseur), a similarly afflicted Inuit orphan boy, to the sanitarium. Kaki's presence invigorates Tivii's spirits and having been separated from his native culture for years, Kaki is able to serve as Tivii's translator as well as acclimate him to this new world. In turn, Tivii takes a fatherly interest in Kaki, teaching him traditional Inuit customs and myths. Inspired by a real tuberculosis epidemic that broke out in the Inuit population in the 1950's, Necessities of Life won several awards at the Montreal World Film Festival, including a special Grand Prize of the Jury.
Directed by Benoît Pilon, 2008, Canada, 35mm, 102 mins. In French and Inuktitut with English subtitles.