Throat Singing in Kangirsuk Image

WE ARE ONE: A GLOBAL FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! Eva Kaukai and Manon Chamberland are 18 and 17 years old respectively. The two teenage girls live in the Inuit community of Payne Bay, in the Quebecois Arctic. Wapikoni, which is a traveling AV and musical creation studio (founded by the Atikamekw Nation Council, the First Nations Youth Council of Quebec and Labrador, and filmmaker Manon Barbeau), stopped over in nearby Kangirsuk and gave Kaukai and Chamberland the tools to create this short film.

Throat Singing in Kangirsuk is hypnotizing. It starts with Kaukai and Chamberland standing in a circle in a vast expanse of snow. Naturally, they are…throat singing. I’m not sure how familiar you are with the phenomenon, but it is a “mixture of husky chanting and low growling…a competition in which the first person to laugh, stop, or run out of breath loses” according to National Geographic. Most traditional throat singing I have heard or witnessed has been very serious and somber in nature, as it’s being performed in front of an audience by older men. In this film, we see the fun side of it. It could honestly be compared to beatboxing. The girls do start laughing at one point but then start again.

The throat singing is a backdrop to aerial shots of the Payne Bay community in all four seasons.”

The throat singing is a backdrop to aerial shots of the Payne Bay community in all four seasons. It is a breathtaking visual tour that somehow shows us the entire spirit of the people in only a little over three minutes. It’s very effective and impressive, considering that the creative forces behind it are teenagers. I couldn’t have been bothered to do much else but think about boys and go to punk shows when I was that age, so I commend Kaukai and Chamberland for getting their first film into Sundance before they’re old enough to drink. I can only hope that the two continue to pursue filmmaking. They’re way too creative to not go forward.

I feel like it’s also important to give some appreciation to Wapikoni, whose sole focus is giving a voice to indigenous youth. It’s not a stretch to say that we usually don’t hear much from these subsects of the international population. I think their mission is a righteous one and I will be paying attention to their output going forward. I would suggest you do the same!

Throat Singing in Kangisurk is the Sundance Film Festival entrant to the 2020 We Are One: Global Film Festival.

Throat Singing in Kangisurk (2019)

Directed and Written: Eva Kaukai, Manon Chamberland

Starring: Eva Kaukai, Manon Chamberland, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Throat Singing in Kangisurk Image

"…a breathtaking visual tour that somehow shows us the entire spirit of the people..."

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