Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

ATANARJUAT (THE FAST RUNNER)

Posted on

Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner), the first feature ever in the language of Inuktitut, is ostensibly about two Inuit families cursed to feud for years. Atanarjuat, a hunter, angers the tribal leader’s son by stealing a promised bride. As a result, he must escape into the stark, icy landscape of northern Canada. Director Zacharias Kunuk devotes long scenes to the tribe’s activities, like igloo building, often making his debut more documentary than drama. But he performs a rare feat, making audiences relate to and understand what would otherwise be an impenetrably exotic culture.