Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Canada, 2001. Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Canada Television and Cable Production Fund License Program, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, Canadian Government, Canadian Television, Channel 24 Igloolik, Igloolik Isuma Productions Inc., National Film Board of Canada, Telefilms Equity Investment Program, Vision Television. Screenplay by Paul Apak Angilirq, additional material by Norman Cohn, Zacharias Kunuk, Herve Paniaq, Pauloosie Qulitalik. Cinematography by Norman Cohn. Produced by Paul Apak Angilirq, Norman Cohn, Zacharias Kunuk, Germaine Wong. Music by Chris Crilly. Production Design by James Ungalaaq. Costume Design by Atuat Akkitiq. Film Editing by Norman Cohn, Zacharias Kunuk, Marie-Christine Sarda.
This gorgeously shot film by Zacharias Kunuk is the first feature to be made in the language of Inuktitut. In a remote Innu village in the Arctic, a shaman brings evil down upon the land which manifests itself years later with the rivalry between friendly Atanarjuat and the chief’s jealous son Oki. Atanarjuat romances the local beauty who was promised to Oki as a child, and marries her after his rival loses a bet. From there, a heartstopping tale of bitter revenge, survival and the intervention of the spirit world unfolds before your eyes, rich with cultural detail and human drama. Excellent acting and a glimpse into a rarely represented Canadian culture make this an experience of a most unique nature.
Toronto International Film Festival: 2001