‘Aviliaq: Entwined’ Features an Inuit Lesbian Relationship Interrupted by Christianity

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Over the past 12 months, wlw (women who love women) moviegoers have been positively giddy about Carol, the critically acclaimed film that features Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett as two women in love in the 1950s.

But it’s not the only film in recent years to show a 1950s lesbian love story and those looking for another fictional romance set in the same time period should also consider Aviliaq: Entwined.

Aviliaq: Entwined, directed by Inuit filmmaker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, is about two Inuit lesbians in love.

Set in the 1950s at in an arctic outpost camp, the two women struggle to stay together “in a new world run by outsiders”. The film’s official blurb explains that this story of love and friendship is “interrupted by convention and religion” as “Christianity encroaches on Inuit beliefs”.

In an interview with Daily Xtra, Arnaquq-Baril says that

I decided to make it a lesbian love story because growing up in the north I didn’t really think about it much, but as an adult, I learnt that there are some people in my life who I love very much who are gay and never told me or anyone in their families or close friend circles and I was shocked. I wanted to make this film because I wanted to let the people I love and other people out there that I don’t know, who might be in the same situation, let them know that there are people out there who love them and care for them and accept them for who they are”.

Aviliaq: Entwined, which was released in 2014, featured at the Women In Film + Television Vancouver (WIFTV) event earlier this month, but Arnaquq-Baril says that she would also like to show the film in Nunavut as well. The filmmaker also says that the film has started some conversations in Nunavut, which is a success.

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