Hailed as the first-ever [fiction] motion picture production from the Inuit Eskimos, the three-hour epic bildungsroman elaborates on some of the ins and outs of the frozen lifestyle, from love to lore.The title character is the second-born in the Igloolik community his family resides in, along the Canadian Arctic. Mainly a tale of struggle, family camaraderie and love, the favored Atanarjuat is continually pitted against the son of a neighboring family and their jealousies and competition over a woman who was promised to the adversary, but prefers the protagonist. It takes a lot of sloshing through seal blubber before the meat of the storytelling is concentrated on and around, but it provides an insightful examination into a heretofore unscratched way of life. Their myth and lore still remain just as intact and shrouded in mystery, but their daily life is finally made clearer and available. It’s almost impossible to take in the beautiful blizzardy scenery without feeling some form of a chill.
Directed by Zacharias Kunuk. With Natar Ungalaaq, Sylvia Ivalu, Pakkak Innukshuk, Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq and Lucy Tulugarjuk.[See it if you must.]