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On Thin Ice, a new film

April 23, 2011

Inuk is an exciting new film about modern Inuit in Greenland and the journey of one young man to reconcile the seemingly disparate worlds in which he lives. I have only watched the trailer, but I can’t wait to find it on DVD!

The website is here or paste this link:

http://www.inuk-film.com/

Or go directly to the film trailer:

http://www.inuk-lefilm.com/Trailer%20LQ.html

The opening sequence of the trailer features a modern sneaker stepping on a crack in hard packed snow. This evocative image seems to encapsulate the theme of the film: two worlds in contact through the figure of a young man learning to be an adult. Of course, the film also makes the two worlds idea more complex as any thoughtful piece would. To me, this first image is quite powerful and disturbing: sneakers are not warm shoes nor do they hold good traction on the ice. The fabric is flimsy and the rubber freezes. They are urban, city shoes. The crack in the hard packed snow is reminiscent of a fissure in ice; the impractical shoe and the fissure give me a sense of unease. Is the shoe bridging the gap or is it, and the person wearing it, about to fall through? Ultimately, from what I can tell from the brief scenes and action sequences, the film is about doing both and it is not particularly interested in saying that modern Greenlandic Inuit are more especially prone to “falling through the cracks” or more adept at “living between two worlds.” Rather, I imagine we are to think of the specificity of the story and how it marks time and place while also finding the connections to films and stories we already intimately know. The “universal” that allows audiences around the world to connect with the story. Such of course, was the project of Atanarjuat, the Fast Runner. This is not a reductive categorizing move to compare the two–I think it is a pretty fair statement to say that a film like Inuk could be made only after the success of previous films like the Fast Runner that are solely in Inuktitut. It’s how industry works, in literature and film. But I’m delighted about the success of one and the future success of the other and what that says about changing markets and perceptions about northern indigenous films!

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2 Comments
  1. Dear arcticisms
    By chance I fell over your (would by the way like to know “who you are”) review of the Inuk trailer and was impressed “how much you got out of it” (my English in unfortunately not very good).
    I’m from Uummannaq and is playing Ikuma in the movie.
    Inuk has been in many film festivals in Scandinavia, Europe, USA (lower 48s), Australiia and Alaska.
    The latest festivals was in Brisbane International Film Fest., Australia and Anchorage International Film Fest.
    I’ve been attending almost all festivals and was on a 3 months tour almost around the world.
    Inuk got it’s big international breakthrough in Savannah Film Fest. in Georgia where it took all 3 awards. The film fest. was attended by many big Hollywood stars like Oliver Stone, Alec Baldwin. James Cromwell, Lily Tomlin, Ray Liotta, Ellen Barkin, Aaron Eckhart, James Marsden and more.
    So far Inuk has won 17 awards from around the world.
    It’s now in the hands of Hollywood by former president of Universal Pictures Thom Mount that is (as I’m writing) making a “Hollywood-cut version” and working on a “25 cities release in USA”.
    If that succeeds Inuk will be released in Europe, Australia, Asia and who knows worldwide ?
    I also saw that you have written about my friend KT Tunstall’s : Uummannaq Song.
    I can also recommend Uummannaq sunglasses : nrgsociety.com
    … and : uummannaqmusic.com
    There is much more but I’d better stop 🙂
    Best regards.
    Ole Jorgen

  2. Thank you so much for updating me on the awesome progress of the film! Back in April when I wrote about INUK, there wasn’t much information available, but now I see the website (http://www.inuk-film.com/) has been updated with a detailed synopsis of the film and a “news” section that tells all about the awards the film has been winning around the world. Congratulations on the awards and on surviving what sounds like a grueling festival tour! I’m happy to hear that there is an American distributor of the film and if I can’t get to see it in the theater, hopefully it will come out on DVD.

    It’s so exciting to have one of the stars from the film commenting on my blog. Do you have any special memories or stories from filming INUK that you would like to share? Has the film been shown in Greenland? What do people from Uummaannaq think about it?

    And thanks for the links–I look forward to learning more about the art and people of Kalaallisut 🙂

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