Berlinale: Programme

Film File


Milak, der Grönlandjäger

The Great Unknown

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Back home, three women fear for their husbands’ lives as arctic researchers Larsen, Svendsen, and Eriksen set out on a dangerous expedition to the Arctic. In Greenland, they hire Inuit dog handler Milak. The plan is for Svendsen to travel north along the coast by ship, while Larsen, Eriksen, and Milak drive towards the far north with dog sleds. In a race against a competing American expedition, they brave snowstorms, crevasses, and polar bears as they weather one adventure after the next. But then their supplies run out ... Critics of the time called Milak, der Grönlandjäger the German answer to Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North (1922). Filmed largely on location in Greenland and Norway’s Spitsbergen archipelago, the film combines impressive landscape footage with ethnographic observation. With their athletic way of filming in the open air, the camera staff from Arnold Fanck’s “Freiburg camera school” used the natural world as a key player, even blowing up ice sheets to create high drama. They were helped along the way by a polar bear sourced from Hamburg’s Hagenbeck zoo.

Bernhard Villinger
Georg Asagaroff

Germany 1927

German intertitles

Documentary form
100’ · Black/White · 35 mm

New Print


Waldemar Coste
Harry Bellinghausen
Ruth Weyher
Lotte Lorring
Nils Focksen
Iris Arlan
Helmer Hanssen
Robby Robert
Sepp Allgeier
Albert Benitz
Richard Angst


Bernhard Villinger, Georg Asagaroff
Armin Petersen, Bernhard Villinger, based on true events during the expeditions of Scott, Mawson, Koch
Sepp Allgeier, Albert Benitz, Richard Angst

Produced by

Universum Film AG (Ufa)

Film Print: Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, Berlin