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My Father, My Teacher

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It's a crisp summer day, and a pod of belugas has been spotted in the distance. Dennis Allen and his 77-year-old father, Victor, climb into a boat and head onto the water. They're in good spirits as they prepare to carry on the deeply rooted Inuvialuit tradition of the whale hunt.

But, it hasn't always been this simple. After years of animosity, Dennis is only now beginning to understand and respect his father. This documentary captures a delicate and evolving relationship as they come together in the spectacular settings of Baby Island and the Mackenzie Delta in Canada's Western Arctic.

The film unfolds as a series of astonishingly honest conversations. Dennis candidly reveals the reasons he severed ties with his family as a youth, falling instead into addiction. Today, he is fighting to restore broken links to his culture and community, beginning with his father. Meanwhile, Victor weaves wonderfully charming and poignant stories. As he talks about his family, growing up in the Arctic, and the dramatic changes he has seen in Inuvialuit life, his extraordinary wisdom and strength of character shine through.

My Father My Teacher is an eloquent reflection of the bonds and tensions faced by all families. It is also an extraordinary look athe the handing down of a precious family legacy from a father to his son.

2005, 52 min

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Honorable Mention - Category: Humanities
International Film and Video Festival
November 7 to 12 2006, Columbus - USA

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