The Last Trapper

The Last Trapper

The Last Trapper

  “There are meetings with people who make life worth living,” said former French writer Guy de Maupassant. As a director Nicolas Vanier on a trip through Canada Noman Winther, meets one of the last trapper, is this accidental meeting, should characterize all his future projects. Vanier, known for daring expeditions far away from civilization and forth gone witness reports, photo books, novels and documentaries, found in Norman Winther exactly what he loved: The passion for the Great North, the Canadian Rockies. The trapper giving embodied the qualities that Vanier was a fictional hero. The result was The Last Trapper / Le dernier Trappeur, the first feature film of the 1962 Senegal-born director.

The pristine wilderness of the northern Rocky Mountains is it that leads us, the camera Thierry Machado’s mind. Seductively beautiful are the glowing red sunsets, the white snowy landscapes, the endless meadows, forests and lakes. The sight of the northern lights and ice-cold winter nights is almost magical. Nature shots are not unknown territory for Thierry Machado, whose pictures we could admire even in the microcosm (1996) and Winged Migration (2001). However, he has never shot under such extreme conditions as in this film. The bitter cold, with temperatures below -50 degrees Celsius, the photography team on the previously unknown technical problems.

That Norman Winther is an exceptional human being, no doubt about that. The 50 year old knows no other life than that of a trapper in the pristine Canadian wilderness. As he himself said of himself, he lives in “harmony with nature”. He retains the nature has adapted to it and takes just as much as he needs to live. He lived by hunting and fishing. Strategically, he distributed in his district, and numerous cases before pursuing an animal and shoots, he has observed long time, knows how it lives and what perception it has of its environment. For the few things he can not get out of nature, he once sold in the furs in Dawson and Whitehorse, the two major towns of the Yukon.

But Norman Winther is not an actor, and that is the problem of the film. The scenes he plays are indeed plucked from his life, but all of them recreated. It follows that the entire cinematic happening much attached to ring and wooden annoying dialogs. Vanier, and makes it difficult for us. Instead, just watch him in his daily routine in nature, he lets him play dramatic events. Winther travels with his sled dogs over a lake where the ice is far from being viable, and breaks. The trapper slips into the icy water while his dogs first go away. But since they are his faithful companions, they turn around and eventually save his life. To move the film from beginning to end between documentary and fiction, ambitious endeavor to serve us both. Although the nature lover and confident this film will get their money, it would have done the film better if Vanier between careful observation and realistic drama had consistently opted for one.

(Katrin Knauth)

Title: The Last Trapper Original Title: Le dernier Trappeur Country of production: Germany, Canada, France, Italy Year of production: 2004 ( #) Length: 94 (Min) of material: 3L Film Distribution

Related posts