Ce qu'il faut pour vivre/ The Necessities of Life
Benoît Pilon's first full-length feature film, based on a screenplay by Bernard Émond, opened in theatres in August 2008. An anthropologist by training and familiar with the far North, Émond found his inspiration for the script in a reality that has haunted the North community since the 1950s: residents stricken with tuberculosis were uprooted and sent to sanatoriums in Québec for "better chance of a cure." The story follows the quest of Tivii, an Inuit hunter, abruptly separated from his wife and daughters, and forced to adapt to the world of white men with no knowledge of either their language or customs. Disoriented and lost in an alien environment, Tivii feels like a prisoner within the hospital walls and is almost suicidal until Kaki, a young Inuit, is transferred from another sanatorium by a nurse sensitive to Tivii's misery. Kaki is familiar with white civilization and becomes Tivii's lifeline, while Tivii in turn, finally able to communicate, connects the youthful Kaki to the traditions of his ancestors through narratives.
Without being moralistic, or accusatory, this captivating film demonstrates the importance of passing down knowledge and of cultural reconciliation. In the respective roles of Tivii and Kaki are actor Natar Ungalaaq and young Paul-André Brasseur, an IQALUIT resident with an Inuit mother and a Québécois father.
At the 29 March 2009 JUTRA Award ceremonies, Ce qu'il faut pour vivre won best film and best screenplay, and Natar Ungalaaq won best actor. On 4 April 2009 at the GENIEs the film received 3 more awards, for best production, best screenplay, and best male lead (Natar Ungalaaq).