The Film

This film was created using archival film from early expeditions, much of which has seldom been seen in Canada, in combination with new High Definition video images of some of the wildlife Anderson observed and described, and some of the places he traveled to. The musical score of the film is based on music composed for the film, contemporary Canadian Inuit and Inuvialuit music from the eastern and western Arctic, and Inuit songs composed in 1914 during the Canadian Arctic Expedition.

Archival Film

The early motion picture images used in Arctic Shadows to illustrate R. M. Anderson’s life and his three Arctic journeys come from many different sources. However, three films are of particular significance. For the 1908 to 1912 Stefansson-Anderson Expedition, most sequences, including the whaling images, come from the 1914 film Bowhead Hunting in the Arctic, or, Cruise of the Whaler ‘Herman’ by Dr. L. Lawrence. The Herman was one of three whaling ships that Anderson worked on during the expedition. For the Canadian Arctic Expedition, we have drawn extensively from the 40 minutes of original film from Canadian Arctic Expedition made by the Expedition photographer, G. H. Wilkins, between 1913 and 1916. For Anderson’s time on the 1928 Eastern Arctic Patrol, the source was a 50-minute film produced for the Canadian Government in 1928, In the Shadow of the Pole, by Richard Finnie. This film contains several sequences of Anderson and shows well the localities and circumstances of his work. Some of the 1928 footage was probably shot by Anderson himself.

Many other images are from Rescue of Stefansson Arctic Expedition 1914 by Fred Le Roy Granville.


This film was shown at the International Polar Year Film Festival in Ottawa, Ontario, on September 29, 2009. Arctic Shadows will also be an important component of the legacy of the International Polar Year 2007-2009 and will be shown at other IPY events, at wildlife and documentary film festivals, and eventually on Canadian television.