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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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Frozen in Motion: Ethnographic Representation in Donald B. MacMillan’s Arctic Films

Frozen in Motion: Ethnographic Representation in Donald B. MacMillan’s Arctic Films

Chapter:
(p.286) 22. Frozen in Motion: Ethnographic Representation in Donald B. MacMillan’s Arctic Films
Source:
Films on Ice
Author(s):

Rebecca Genauer

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748694174.003.0023

This chapter examines the explorer Donald MacMillan, who accompanied Robert Peary during the 1908-09 Polar expedition, and took tens of thousands of still photographs and exposed nearly 100,000 feet of motion picture footage during his long career as explorer, scientist, lecturer, and ethnographer. Four of MacMillan’s edited single-reel films – Hunting Musk-Ox with the Polar Eskimo (date unknown), Travelling with the Eskimos of the Far North (1930), Eskimo Life in South Greenland (filmed during a 1926 expedition), and Under the Northern Lights (circa 1928) –survive. Genauer’s chapter argues that MacMillan disavowed narrative and generic conventions of ethnographic representation, which allowed his films to break from the supposed verisimilitude characteristic of contemporary explorer films.

Keywords:   Donald B. MacMillan, Robert Peary, Inuit, North Pole

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