Table of Contents
Featured Inuit Dog Owner: Ove Nygaard
An Amazing Lead Dog: The Story of Tatra
A Mystic Reunion
Katan, the Greenland Pup
Oregon Dune Musher's Mail Run
High Arctic Mushing: Part II
Bibliography: Inuit Sled Dog Research
Video Review: Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner
Book Review: To a Lonely Land I Know
Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner
reviewed by Sue Hamilton
Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner, is Canada's first full length (161 minutes) feature movie written, produced, directed and acted entirely by the Inuit of Igloolik Isuma Productions of Iglulik, Nunavut. The story is an ancient legend Iglulik elders have kept alive "to teach young Inuit the danger of setting personal desire above the needs of the group." It is a tale of "love, jealousy, murder and revenge... life-threatening struggle between human and supernatural characters" set in a time centuries before metal and guns, when the Inuit lived a nomadic existence.
While there are scenes of dogs kept and working in traditional ways, this is not why Atanarjuat is a must see, must own video. Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner,is a visual feast of natural beauty, fine acting and offers many vignettes of the details of every day life. With an unusual style of filming, it affords viewers a rare opportunity to experience and appreciate "a more authentic view of Inuit culture and oral tradition from the inside and through Inuit eyes".
The dialog is entirely in Inuktitut with English subtitles. The accompanying musical score is an eclectic collection of aboriginal music from Arctic Canada, Australia and the Asian country of Tuva.
Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner has not yet been broadly released for home video. The versions that were available in the Canadian North prior to Christmas 2001 were a limited edition so that Inuit in Nunavut would have a chance to see the film and not have to wait until after a theater release release down south.
The film will be released in theaters in Canada by Alliance Atlantis/Odeon in Spring, 2002 and then across the United States by Lot 47 in June, 2002. After that, it will surely be available on home video and DVD.
For more info on when DVD and home video copies will be available, please contact the distributors directly: