Robert Joseph Flaherty

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Robert Joseph Flaherty (flă´ərtē), 1884–1951, American explorer and film producer. He was born in Michigan and grew up in Canada. He explored (1910–16) subarctic E Canada and in 1922 completed the first feature-length documentary film, Nanook of the North. Though Flaherty approached his subjects with sympathy and respect, his method blended documentary and dramatic techniques, sometimes at the expense of the strict truth. His films include Moana (1925), Elephant Boy (1936), The Land (1941), and Louisiana Story (1949).

See biographies by A. Calder-Marshall (1963, repr. 1970), F. Flaherty (1960, repr. 1972), and R. Griffith (1953, repr. 1973).

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Flaherty, Robert Joseph (1884–1951) Pioneer US director of documentary films. In Canada, he made Nanook of the North (1922) about Inuit life, followed by Moana (1926), an idyllic treatment of Samoa. Other major films include Industrial Britain (1932) and Louisiana Story (1948).