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review

Seal hunting, a critical part of Inuit life, has been controversial for a long time. Now, a new generation of Inuit, armed with social media and their own sense of humour and justice, are challenging the anti-sealing groups and bringing their own voices into the conversation. In Angry Inuk, director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril joins her fellow Inuit activists as they challenge outdated perceptions of Inuit and present themselves to the world as a modern people in dire need of a sustainable economy.

"At some point in my childhood, I realized there are some people out there who don't like seal hunting." That's from Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, an Inuk filmmaker whose important documentary Angry Inuk is a dignified response to those who oppose seal hunting but willfully ignore the fact that international bans on seal products severely inhibit the subsistence hunting vital to Arctic communities. Arnaquq-Baril narrates the film with focused, level-headed passion (and occasional wry humour): She simply wishes to confront the well-funded anti-sealing campaigners who, it is strongly suggested, raise money under false pretenses and with loud, celebrity-driven messaging. "How does a culture with an understated anger," the filmmaker asks, "confront a group that is exactly the opposite?" It's a good question – one that her film deftly answers as it simultaneously cuts sharply into the ethics of activism over all.

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