Post Greenland

Greenland

06 November 2020

Greenlandic Feature Films (Series 1)

Greenland: Greenlandic Feature Films, 6 November 2020. Images from Post Greenland.

Technical Specifications:

01100686, 01100687
Greenlandic Feature films I: ‘Palo’s Wedding’ (Palladium Film); ‘Qivitoq’ (Nordisk Film)
Denominations: DKK 14.00, DKK 59.00
Date of issue: 6th November 2020
10 stamps per sheet
Exterior dimensions: 50.00 x 44.09 mm
Format: E – horizontal
Typography: Lowe-Martin Group
Printing method: Offset
Paper: TR4

Greenlandic feature films have enthused audiences worldwide for decades. We are therefore dedicating a whole series of stamps to this interesting theme.

We start the series with movie posters for two classic films, which are still well worth watching today. These are ‘Palo’s Wedding’, a 1934 film screen written by famous Greenlandic-Danish anthropologist Knud Rasmussen and ‘Qivitoq’ from 1956. The series will continue over coming years.

Palo’s Wedding
Directed by: Friedrich Dalsheim, Emmy Langberg. Script: Knud Rasmussen, 1934.

Knud Rasmussen’s seventh Thule expedition was an expedition to south-east Greenland to map the coastline and examine local glaciers. During the expedition, Knud Rasmussen filmed ‘Palo’s Wedding’, a romantic drama
from pre-Christian East Greenland. This was the first feature film ever to be filmed with a purely Greenlandic cast.

Plot: Navarana is a young Greenlandic woman who looks after the home of her three brothers. She is more skilled at removing and preparing sealskins than any of the other women who live in the summer settlement. Her brothers are very proud of her and fear the day she will leave their home to tend to the lamp of somebody else. They know that her heart belongs to one of the men from the settlement, but do not yet know whether her chosen one is Palo or Samo, two young men from the settlement.

Palo and Samo are both in love with Navarana. She prefers Palo, but Samo is unwilling to accept this and draws his knife on Palo. Palo survives thanks to intervention by the spirits but, in the meantime, the rest of the hunting community has moved on from the settlement. Palo is not willing to give up on Navarana, however. He defies the elements and paddles his kayak over rough seas to bring back Navarana to be his bride.

The feature film was filmed in and nearby Tasiilaq during 1933. ‘ Palo’s Wedding’ therefore has a special place in our hearts.

Just after filming was completed, Knud Rasmussen fell ill. He died three months later on 21st December 1933.

‘Palo’s Wedding’ was filmed in black and white and is 90 minutes long. The film premièred in Danish cinemas on 5th March 1934 and was presented that same year in the Venice Biennale, where it won an award.

Featuring: Ulrik Mikaelsen, Maren Boassen, Mikael, Johanne Andreasen, Kristiane Kuitse, Elisa Ale, Mannatseq, Henning Mikiki, Thorvald Stauning and others.

Film rights to ‘Palo’s Wedding’ have been owned by the Danish Film Institute (DFI) since it took ownership of the Palladium Film catalogue. The movie poster on the stamp is reproduced with the kind permission of DFI.

‘Qivitoq’

Directed by: Erik Balling. Script: Leck Fischer, 1956.

Plot: Eva, a young Danish schoolteacher, arrives in Greenland to surprise her fiancé (a doctor named Erik) but finds him in the arms of another woman. Hurt and dejected, she seeks refuge with a trading company outpost manager called Jens in Sermilik, a small, idyllic hunting settlement.

To the outside world, Jens comes across as moody and aggressive. Soon, however, Eva finds out that she is not the only person in the settlement with a broken heart. Eva and Jens also share a great deal of concern for a big game hunter called Pavia.

‘Qivitoq’ is a tale about people in adversity who have to choose between facing it head on and defeating it or admitting defeat and running away.

One morning, Pavia paddles his kayak into Frederiksminde harbour. The name of the town was invented for the film. Pavia has paddled the long voyage from his home in the small settlement of Sermilik for news about his new fishing boat that is on its way from Denmark. The seal population is disappearing from the waters and Pavia understands that he and other Greenlandic hunters will have to shift to fishing if they are to survive.

The film is an epic journey into Greenland’s outstanding natural scenery and a fascinating world of myths and legends in which men wander into the mountains if they are humiliated in the hunting society they are part of.

‘Qivitoq’ was filmed in Ilulissat and the Saqqaq settlement approx. 100 km further north. In its day, this was the most expensive Danish film ever produced. ‘Qivitoq’ was also the first Danish film to receive an Oscar nomination (in the ’best foreign-language film’ category). The film also won an award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Featuring: Poul Reichhardt, Astrid Villaume, Niels Platou, Dorthe Reimer, Justus Larsen, Johanne Larsen, Edward Sivertsen and others.

Rights to ‘Qivitoq’ are owned by Nordisk Film, who gave permission to reproduce the movie poster on this postage stamp.

First Day Cover:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.