Atanarjuat - The Fast Runner 2001

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(8) IMDb 7.5/10
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Shot on digital video, this version of an old Inuit legend tells of the damage done when a cruel shaman unleashes a malevolent spirit in the midst of an Inuit community. Atanarjuat, the Fast Runner, and Amaqjuaq, the Strong One, are the two sons of Tulimaq, a man who was originally intended to become community leader, but who lost his place after the intervention of the shaman. When Atanarjuat wins the hand of Atuat from rival suitor Oki, the son of the community leader installed by the evil shaman, this continues the dispute between the two families and leads to further discord. Oki uses his sister Puja to deceive Atanarjuat and mount an attack on the camp he shares with his brother Amaqjuaq; the Fast Runner luckily survives the onslaught, but will he be able to find a way to bring an end to this legacy of violence?

Starring:
Madeline Ivalu, Lucy Tulugarjuk
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 48 minutes
Starring Madeline Ivalu, Lucy Tulugarjuk, Peter Henry Arnatsiaq, Natar Ungalaq, Sylvia Ivalu
Director Zacharias Kunuk
Genres Drama
Studio ICA
Rental release 7 December 2009
Main languages inuktitut
Subtitles English

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Smith on 4 Mar 2010
Format: DVD
I first saw this film many years ago, and its power stayed with me. I was pleased to find it on Amazon, but unfortunately the quality of the disc is poor, and it jumps, eliminating some scenes. If you can get a good copy, I highly recommend the film.

Based on an ancient Inuit tale, it deals with many of the archetypes of great tragedy: filial betrayal, treacherous marital relationships, and the power of the shaman. Plus wonderful images of the ice, and the courage of the naked runner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Besom on 20 Jan 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An extraordinary film - written, produced and acted by Innuit people. It's hard to get into because the start of the film does not establish well enough the idea that a curse has been visited on a native Innuit community (in a long ago historical period), so it's hard to understand what is going on at first - or who anyone is. It only really takes off when the two sons of one of the families that has been cursed grow up. The film is very long but it's worth hanging in there as it will captivate you soon enough. It has some of the most spectacular visuals you could ever hope to see and very interesting acting by a mixture of professional actors and local talent. It successfully integrates magic realism into a classic narrative arc and there is one scene which is simply astounding and I still don't know how the actor survived the filming of it - but I won't give it away. I want everyone to see this film but I suspect it really wotks best on a large screen. I saw it in a cinema first time round and was mesmerised - I didn't notice the length. I have always wanted it on DVD but when I tried to watch the DVD on a computer screen it did not have the same power to transfix. I imagine this is because the incredible white infinity of the landscape needs scaled up to fully appreciate it. My friends then projected it on a large wall and it was brilliant. We watched it as a group over New Year - as if we were in a cinema. We are still talking about it. A great buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By gwaan on 6 Jun 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is without doubt one of the best films ever. Nearly 3 hours long, epic plot, superb acting, breathtaking sceneries, a masterpiece of social observation.
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Format: DVD
It was a bit of a struggle to get into it at the beginning and I found myself wondering just who was doing what to whom. It moves at a snail's pace (but that's part of its charm) and it goes on for nearly three hours but none of that time is wasted. It provides a stunning observation of inuit culture and tradition, especially on how they deal with disputes and legal issues. Just buy a bigger bag of popcorn and settle in for a marathon session - it's well worth it
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