6 févr. 2015


Likely saved through oral tradition, this 56 minute film from 1930, details an event which commenced the Ojibway Indians trek to the Barren Lands or Barren Grounds, in search of food and happiness. Silent Enemy (famine) begins with the Ojibwa Indians living far to the south where forests and lakes abound. They first commenced a southward migration but were forced to change plans. As a result of less game, the Ojibwe Indians agree to migrate north into what is the Barren Grounds of far northern Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Barren Grounds of far northern Alaska. They knew the caribou in the 100,000s, if not millions, left the forest to head north into the barren lands each spring and stayed until autumn. The Caribou Eaters food supply was bountiful and from food preservation allowed them to live permanently in the barren lands. Chief Yellow Robe stars as Chetoga. He was directly related to chief Sitting Bull. Though it is thought that Silent Enemy was inspired by the 1922 film Nanook of the North, it is the clear subject of a migration up north which provides a story for this film. It is dramatic and realistic. The animal fight scenes are not fake. It was filmed in northern Alaska. You'll notice scenes filmed outdoors during frigid weather. Brave were the actors, especially chief Yellow Robe who was either 63 or 69 when the movie was made. Chief Dagwan represents the Hare Indians who were known to be conjurers. They are also known as Sahtu which is probably a mispronunciation of Saulteaux. They are the northern most Saulteaux or Chipewyan. All Athabascan or Dene people are Algonquin according to the 1832 Edinburgh Encyclopedia which recorded the Dene being from the Lenni Lenape or Delaware people.