Inuk filmmakers Carol Kunnuk and Lucy Tulugarjuk’s Tautuktavuk (What We See) is a film about female friendship and how women talk about and around trauma. The film had its world premiere at TIFF before screening at the ImagineNative Film Festival in Toronto.
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Inuk filmmakers Carol Kunnuk and Lucy Tulugarjuk’s Tautuktavuk (What We See) is a film about female friendship and how women talk about and around trauma. Set during the early pandemic, much of the film takes place over Zoom conversations between two sisters: Uyarak and Saqpinak. Uyarak (Lucy Tulugarjuk) is temporarily living in Montreal to receive counselling in the wake of an abusive relationship and years of alcoholism. Saqpinak (Carol Kunnuk) lives in Igloolik and is quietly struggling with domestic abuse. Things have gotten worse now that access to social services is worse than ever.
As Uyarak excavates her past trauma in therapy off-screen, they come together on Zoom to connect. They discuss both the mundane and the profound, unlocking childhood memories that they’ve never felt comfortable discussing. Life goes on; Saqpinak cooks for her family. Yet these women are inextricably linked, and their ability to open up is incredibly healing.
When they finally reunite in Igloolik, a new form of communication and healing becomes possible. Now that they’re in the same room, they can’t hide behind the niceties of a computer screen. It’s rare to see women discussing domestic violence this frankly and supportively in any context. What We See has its finger on the pulse: unafraid to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the specific challenges of life in the remote Canadian Arctic, underserved by government services.
Related reading/listening to Carol Kunnuk and Lucy Tulugarjuk’s Tautuktavuk
More films by Lucy Tulugarjuk: Listen to our podcast on Indigenous YA films, featuring Tulugarjuk’s Tia and Piujuk.
Films by Inuk filmmakers: Read our interview with Alethea Arnaquq-Baril about Angry Inuk. Read our reviews of Zacharias Kunuk’s A Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk and Angakusajaujuq – The Shaman’s Apprentice.
More Indigenous Films: Read all of our coverage of Indigenous films here.