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Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001)
"Atanarjuat" (original title)

 -  Drama | Fantasy  -  12 April 2002 (Canada)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 5,182 users   Metascore: 91/100
Reviews: 106 user | 78 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

The telling of an Inuit legend of an evil spirit causing strife in the community and one warrior's endurance and battle of its menace.

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Title: Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Natar Ungalaaq ...
Sylvia Ivalu ...
Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq ...
Oki
Lucy Tulugarjuk ...
Puja
Madeline Ivalu ...
Panikpak
Pauloosie Qulitalik ...
Qulitalik / A shaman (as Paul Qulitalik)
Eugene Ipkarnak ...
Sauri, the chief
Pakak Innuksuk ...
Amaqjuaq (as Pakkak Innushuk)
Neeve Irngaut ...
Uluriaq
Abraham Ulayuruluk ...
Tungajuaq
Apayata Kotierk ...
Kumaglak
Mary Qulitalik ...
Niriuniq
Luke Taqqaugaq ...
Pittiulak
Alex Uttak ...
Pakak
Eric Nutarariaq ...
Young Sauri
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Storyline

Centuries ago, in what would become the Canadian Arctic, Atuat is promised to the malevolent Oki, son of the leader of their tribe. But Atuat loves the good-natured Atanarjuat, who ultimately finds a way to marry her. Oki's sister, Puja also fancies Atanarjuat, and when she causes strife between him and his brother Amaqjuaq, Oki seizes the opportunity to wreak a terrible revenge on Atanarjuat. Written by Shannon Patrick Sullivan <shannon@mun.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

inuit | arctic | evil spirit | revenge | shaman | See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality/nudity and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 April 2002 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

CAD 1,960,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$36,342 (USA) (7 June 2002)

Gross:

$3,786,801 (USA) (24 January 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While this film would never get SPCA approval, every animal killed was used in true Inuit fashion; all the meat was consumed, and the skins were put to practical use. See more »

Goofs

Just before Atanarjuat jumps over the crevasse, the shadow of a crew member appears in the snow, at the bottom of the screen, to the left. See more »

Quotes

Atuat: [to Atanarjuat] I hunt you. You're my own wolf.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film's end credits play next to behind the scenes footage of the making of the film. Many primary cast and crew members appear at the same time that their credits come on screen. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

A different language
20 January 2003 | by (Taipei) – See all my reviews

The biggest surprise about the for Inuit-produced feature is that you do not need to be politically correct to like it. It is, besides a few excusable flaws, just a great film. It is extremely difficult to transfer stories from foreign cultures and oral traditions to the screen - the whole visual language of the media is loaded with subtle assumptions on how stories hold together and characters should act; and these assumptions mostly belong to "Western"-modern culture. I think this films great achievement is to avoid much of it. One example: It's not just due to the villainous character of some persons that they behave badly - the conflicts are not just conflicts between individuals. It's rather the entire community that is ill, due to spirit possession.

The film is told in a somewhat different visual language, and this is what makes it so convincing; this is also what makes it difficult to understand at times (particularly in the beginning), but this is the price to pay - it is rather surprising how comprehensible it gets later. The film as a whole is really exciting and touching. It's pace is slow (and I like slow-paced movies). It's solutions for particular scenes are striking - the appearance of the bad spirit in the end is eerie, and the effect is just done by the camera position. On the other hand, there is a sort a documentary immediacy to everything, as if the camera just happened to be in the right spot when the story unfolded (I liked the burping and spitting a lot).

There are, of course, points that don't work out well: The music is the usual One-World-Tribal-kitsch-mud, with didgeridoos and Tuvan throat-singing, as if every "primitive" culture was just the same (an idea originating from 18th century Europe and strangely enough professed by many "tribal" activists today). But, well, it's pretty discrete...


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