When Robert Flaherty arrived at Inoucdjouac (on the east coast of Hudson Bay) in 1920 to begin making Nanook of the North, he had already completed a documentary of the Inuit five years earlier in the Belcher Islands. But the negative of the first movie exploded in 1915 when Flaherty let his cigarette get too near it. It is a mark of his persistence and his character that not only was he prepared to do the whole thing over again but that he actually did do it over again, after finding the money and the equipment and a ship to get him back north. Nanook is now in video, and anyone interested in early photography and moviemaking, or in the wonderful ambiguities that surround the attempts of photographers, artists and anthropologists to record the "vanishing ways" of indigenous people, should get a copy. It's still a wonderful movie (it takes a minute or two to adjust to the antique titles) and it's hard to believe that it could ever have been made, given the place and the technology with which he was working. A complementary film-text appeared this fall on the festival circuit in the form of Kabloona, with Charles Dance as Flaherty and Adamie Inukpuk as Nanook. Kabloona is the (somewhat truncated) story of the making of Nanook, and is equally as impressive in its making as is Nanook in its. Kabloona offers us an over-the-shoulder look at Flaherty in his chosen milieu and answers not too heavily some of the questions that we feel watching Nanook: how did they get the camera in the igloo, for instance, or: are those people really one family? The centrepiece of Kabloona is the futile and absurd 600-mile journey by dog sled that Flaherty insisted on making in search of a suitable polar bear. Flaherty processed his film on site, and made a point of showing the rushes to the Inuit as the work progressed, so that he might involve them more closely in the making of a story that they could readily see was not "true." And this problem of truth is precisely what confronts us as we watch Kabloona, a movie about a movie that made an implicit claim on reality, but which itself, in this self-conscious age, can claim only to be "based on" reality.