I’m completely smitten by a docu-series that’s been aired this spring on DMAX (one of my favourite channels). THE LAST ALASKANS was a real surprise for me, too intrigued by the landscapes and won by the curiosity of knowing the lifestyle of the people who live in the “Arctic National Wildlife Refuge” a far away and uninhabited area in northern Alaska.
I’ve been all my life an avid documentary passionate and this kind of program is just too good to be true. The characters, their lives and memories, the amazing landscapes and the simple life they conduct are extremely extravagant from every point of view. They are happy to live there and sad when they have to go back to the city, their feelings are depicted really well.
To live a life always in search for food, no commodities, no tv, no internet and cellphones must be really hard. They sew their own gloves and snow boots with the fur of the hunted animals. They don’t have the possibility to go to the supermarket if they need something. In all the months they live in such isolation from the rest of the world they need to be always ready for unexpeted events and work hard to have the basic necessities.
Hunting caribou, dealing with bears, paying attention to the width of the ice, no sun for months since they are above the arctic polar circle… I think this is an amazing series that goes in-depth of the lives of these extravagant people called “last Alaskans”. The lasts who can live in this territory because in 1980 the government decided to stop any further human settlements in the area and so the ones who had previosly the rights to built cabins are only 7 and dislocated on hundreds of miles away from each other.
Heimo and Hedna, definitely my favourite couple ever! They are so sweet and had four daughters that grew up in their cabins. Same as Bob they lived in this difficult territory for about 40 years. Their memories are so clear and emotionally painful that I really feel close to them. I really love Heimo, he seems a really great person!
Ray Lewis is a tough and hard working man who grew up, with his wife, his 3 daughters in this kind of wild environment. Originally from Michigan he decided to move to Alaska in search of an adventurous life. His family is amazing, his daughters are able to hunt and do all the things required to live in such a difficult area since they grew up there and now are teenagers. They have all such a close relationship, I really feel their love for each other.
Bob, the toughness, 40 years of experience in the wilderness. This season he was at a considerably disadvantage because he broke his airplane, he couldn’t hunt any caribou (so no meat aka lipids for all the winter months) and a bear ate all his provisions so he decided to return to Fairbanks to be with his daughter waiting for next season.
All the group, in the centre the Lewis family with their three daughters and dogs.
Hope to see more of this amazing series! I really love it, I feel so close to all of them… The musics, the magical landscapes, the great respect they have for nature is so special that it would be a shame to not see more. Good luck last Alaskans from an italian watcher!