realbarackobama’s review published on Letterboxd:
i am enraptured by images. i love reality as an endless supply of fragments, which encourage me to focus on appearances. i love how photography and film collapse time and geographic distance — providing the illusion of universal connectivity.
this documentary's true start is with the founding of Dawson by tens of thousands of gold rush pioneers who died by droves and forced out the Hän. it reminded me how i felt reading about the colonial history of California, this pang of ...something that sputters out because it has no target.
Not that the movie is about that necessarily - its half history of Dawson City and half a presentation of the restored film footage found in the permafrost. History is explained with captions and relevant footage, interspersed with thematically appropriate clips from restored silent films, most the only extant reels of their movies. The score is... a thin, sort of... shrill? timbre of very slow tempo melodies but i couldnt tell you the instruments used. it had a haunting effect on me i spent a lot of the first half mouth agape at the screen. i dont know any other circumstance where water damaged film reels would have that effect on me