The first ever Inuit film to receive a theatrical release, whereupon It Instantly became one of the most critically lauded films of the year, Atanarjuat Is a truly epic piece of storytelling and a wonderfully lyrical cinematic experience. The film Is a recreation of the ancient Inult legend of Atanarjuat - a classic quest story set In the Arctic at the dawn of the first millennium. Evil In the form of an unknown shaman divides a small community; two brothers, Amaqjuaq (the Strong One) and Atanarjuat (the Fast Runner) rise up to challenge this order. However, when his brother Is murdered, Atanarjuat must flee the community - can the Fast Runner end his exile and vanquish the evil that haunts his community? Zacharias Kunuk's film was shot using digital cameras entirely on sea Ice in Arctic conditions and utilised local cast and crew from the Inult community of Igloolik. Dealing with universal themes and emotions with a rare Insight and compassion, Atanarjuat Is both an extremely Idiosyncratic and yet utterly universal work that truly rivals Lord of the Rings for its epic qualities and sheer visual mastery.
Arctic folk tale
- Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner review by JD
It is as interesting for the insight into Inuit culture as it is for imagining how to survive in those conditions as it is for the story of feuds and revenge.
The story is the almost inevitable consequence of tiny communities living in very close contact and the rivalries and bonds that are created. Some of the parts of Arctic life were touchingly portrayed. I would have thought it would be difficult to make Arctic feuds into good film as the landscape is bleak, the squeaky scrunch of snow is the loudest noise and outside everyone is completely covered. The intense coldness however is used as a backdrop into a simmering and exhausting tension between aggressive and dominant members of the group. Although this is clearly an ancient tale it has modern parallels.
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
- Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner review by JV
If you do everything right then sometimes I think the film transcends perhaps the vision the film-makers aspired to. Or maybe the story itself is sufficiently powerful that if you just tell it, and get the details right, it becomes something in its own right. The film seems both modern and ancient. It has a sense that it was actually filmed there, a bit like The Seventh Seal feels as if it was shot in the Middle Ages. They're just acting but they're acting something more powerful than themselves.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
- Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner review by BS
OK, I will admit I struggled to recognise and differentiate some of the characters, but it was powerful and touching, and felt all the world like the most dramatic documentary you have ever seen. The words were hypnotic to the ear, and striking to read, and told an eternal, universal story that could have been based in Manhattan and still worked. I watched it twice.