Atanarjuat - The Runner


| March 8, 2002 Issue

Atanarjuat - The Runner, Hugh Brody, openDemocracy
The film Atanarjuat tells a story of love, murder, family breakdown, and reconciliation. But according to Hugh Brody in openDemocracy, the film is getting rave reviews both for its quality (it won the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival) and for its origins: It is an Inuit film made by Inuit and in Inuktitut, the language of the Canadian eastern Arctic. Inuits have managed to protect their way of life and maintain control of their land, despite Canadian expansion. Even as the film is finding a mainstream audience, a debate is brewing between the Inuit government, which would like to see Inuktitut preserved as an official language in the Eastern Arctic, and some Anglophones, who believe that the Eastern Arctic region is supported by the rest of Canada and feel the they should be more respectful of Canadian institutions. Brody responds to the opponents of making Inuktitut an official language by writing, "without its indigenous populations and their languages, Canada is a diminished country." Atanarjuat is a prime example of what could be lost.
--Maria Opitz
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