Atanarjuat (Fast Runner)

Dir: Zacharias Kunuk. 2001. Starring: Natar Ungalaaq, Sylvia Ivalu, Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq. Inuktitut. Foreign/Fantasy.

Atanarjuat is set roughly 1,000 years ago in the Inuit village of Igloolik. The plot is based on an ancient legend about a community under the curse of an evil shaman and torn apart by human failings. One man, the heroic Atanarjuat, goes on a Homeric quest and offers change.

The screenplay came from writer Paul Apak Angilirq’s interviews with eight Inuit elders whose stories he combined and fleshed out and added personal touches. Sadly, he died of cancer during production. The film, shot on digital cameras, takes a Dogma-like approach that places the viewer in the middle of the action. The affect is akin to watching a pre-millennial episode of COPS set in the tundra.

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Posted by:
Eric Brightwell
Aug 9, 2008 3:34pm
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