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Films on IceCinemas of the Arctic$
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Scott MacKenzie and Anna Westerstahl Stenport

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748694174

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748694174.001.0001

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A Gentle Gaze on the Colony: Jette Bang’s Documentary Filming in Greenland 1938–9

A Gentle Gaze on the Colony: Jette Bang’s Documentary Filming in Greenland 1938–9

(p.235) 17. A Gentle Gaze on the Colony: Jette Bang’s Documentary Filming in Greenland 1938–9
Films on Ice

Anne Mette Jørgensen

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses one of few women documentary filmmakers of the Arctic, Danish Jette Bang. A prolific photographer and filmmaker in Greenland throughout her career, Jørgensen shows how the early color film Inuit (1940) was nimbly shot and cinematographically deliberate. Made for the 1940 International Polar Year, the film and accompanying photo book created substantial media coverage when it premiered in Copenhagen. Bang’s later films, including her depictions of a changing Greenlandic society in the 1950s and 60s, this chapter argues, were made with the intent to both document Greenlandic life in the post-war era and as a testament to Denmark’s benevolent colonial rule of Greenland. Bang’s films thereby showcase the welfare state and industrial modernization processes imported Greenland, while maintaining an interest in ‘traditional’ practices and customs.

Keywords:   Jette Bang, Documentary, Inuit, Robert Flaherty, Nanook of the North, Thule, International Polar Year, Ethnography, ethnographic filmmaking, modernity, modernization

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