Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT) presented the stunning documentary, Games of the North: Playing for Survival, which is being aired tonight on PBS at 10:30.
Four Inuit athletes and their ties to the Arctic Winter Games, held biennially for a week in March (the next competition will be March 4-10 in 2012) and drawing hundreds of athletes from the northern territories of the Arctic circle, are featured. Produced by Starseed Media, in association with the Alaska Native Heritage Center, you get a chance to see the incredible journeys, both physical, mental, and spiritual, that these competitors take on their path to competing in the games.
The Arctic Winter Games include alpine skiing, basketball, curling, dog mushing, figure skating, snowboarding, hockey, and wrestling to name a few of the events, but it’s the arctic sports like the knuckle hop, one-foot high kick, head pull, and the Dene games like finger pull and pole push that make these games so unique.
The film links these competitions to their practical origins, sneaking up on game, pain endurance, staying in shape in close quarters, and leaping between ice flows over freezing water. Following four Inuit athletes as they trek across Alaska to “live, compete, hunt, train and pursue their goals is where you’ll revel in the complex, interconnectedness of Inuit culture,” a press release for the film stated.