(Ce qu’il faut pour vivre) Based on an actual tuberculosis epidemic that swept the Far North of Canada in mid-century, “The Necessities of Life” is set in 1955, when Tivii, an Inuit hunter (Natar Ungalaaq, “The Fast Runner”) is diagnosed and taken from his village on remote Baffin Island for treatment at a hospital in Quebec City. Director Benoit Pilon, documentary-trained, tells the story gently, amusingly, capturing loneliness well, but also the culture clash with paternalistic but essentially clueless doctors and bureaucrats. There’s a quiet Canadian elegance to it all. “Necessities of Life” was Canada’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. With Éveline Gélinas, Paul-André Brasseur, Vincent-Guillaume Otis, Antoine Bertrand, Guy Thauvette, Louise Marleau. 102m. (Ray Pride)
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.