Inspired by the John Ford film The Searchers, an Inuit woman and her daughter are kidnapped by three Inuit men, while her husband and son are away. The Inuit husband sets out on a journey to find his family and punish the perpetrators.
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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 <email@example.com>
Pretty well guaranteed to be the only Inuit film you will ever see. This is the story of two brothers and the trouble caused to them by a neighbouring family/tribe and some kind of evil spirit. The mystical elements are fairly low key and the story revolves around the always popular themes of jealousy, betrayal, rivalry and love.
If the plot is nothing new, the people it portrays are. As the story progresses almost documentary like details of hunting, igloo-building, celebrations and other aspects of life in the frozen north of Canada are provided. Much of the movies' strength comes the sheer originality of the culture. When is the last time you saw an Inuit man running naked across the ice being pursued by murderers in seal skins?
The cinematography is particularly striking, with the powerful light of the Arctic giving the film its own character. Vast landscapes of snow and ice are contrasted with the confines of the igloo and tent. Very impressive for a first time director.
The film would probably have been improved by some judicious editing. As you enter the third hour your desire to see another set of feet trudging through the snow is a little limited.
Well crafted, full of fascinating details and certainly one of a kind.
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