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  • Delven Shaw


Deception while marketing a film is never a good idea. Here is the blurb for the one hour doc NANUQ which kicked off the Environmental Film Festival.

1928, The Italia Airship, under the command of general Umberto Nobile, crashes into the North Pole ice pack. Nine crew members survive. One dies on impact. Six crew members are trapped inside the airship envelope. They will never be found, and, as of today, their destiny is unknown. A story of tragedy and courage, driven by an ancient and anthropological thirst for discovery, the very thirst that leads Paola Catapano, director of audio-visual communications at the CERN centre in Geneva, to seek for the relic of the Italia airship…

Photo from the Internet is the actual plane that was lost.

Sounds exciting, right? But instead, we get an hour of watching a well-funded yatch sail in the Arctic, with standard drone footage of beautiful country. We learn the ice is melting, plastics are bad, polar bears are cute, and you can make pizza on a boat. All the while listening to important texts like ‘we search for traces of the past to the constantly changing present while trying to find the answers for the future.’ Agreed.

The only mention of the Italia Airship is with a simple ceremony - which a only a couple of the crew paid attention to - when a floral wreath was thrown from the fast moving boat into the ocean where it was thought that the men were lost. Other then that, its a simple 'we didn't find anything, folks'' as the film wraps.

Environmental films are so essential at this time. And the films lists other discoveries the crew made, and I am sure classrooms would be interested in the NANUQ because of its technology. But even when the ship runs aground and nearly capsizes, the film has been edited for minimal drama. The search for the lost explorers is as missing as the airship itself. Emanuele Licitra directs.

I started their second feature about New Orleans, which seemed to be material that I had seen previously covered on stage and screen.

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