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Making The Film

The Pirogue Maker

Film by Arnold Eagle
Produced by Arnold Eagle
Cinematographer: Arnold Eagle
Sound: Sound track by Susan Reed
Editing: Dorothy Albert and John Oser
Copyright: 1992, Exxon
14 minutes, Black and White
Original format: Film: 35mm, 1949
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Home streaming only. For other permissions apply to Arnold Eagle or to the distributor.


Preview one minute trailer - Comment on film


In 1948, Robert Flaherty was working on "The Louisiana Story." He was searching for a small boat, or "pirogue" for his young hero. Flaherty soon became aware that pirogue-making was a disappearing art. Finally, when he found Ebdon Allemon, a Cajun craftsman, he persuaded him to make the pirogue. It may well have been the last piroque made in Louisiana. This is a record of that event.

The filmmaker/still photographer Arnold Eagle recalls his work: Standard Oil Company was doing a film with Robert Flaherty, so they sent me out to photograph Flaherty and how he makes a movie. When I came there he was a little bit suspicious of me because I came from Standard Oil Company, and he wanted to keep Standard Oil Company away from his job, so he felt I was sort of a spy, maybe. But then he accepted me and I became very, very friendly with him. He helped me make my first film The Pirogue Maker, which I did in 1949, I think.

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