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Maliglutit (Searchers)

Friday, April 14, 2017
8:30 p.m.
YBCA Screening Room


Sunday, April 16, 2017
1:30 p.m.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017
1:00 p.m.
Victoria Theatre

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Canadian-Inuk filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk's Maliglutit (Searchers) continues in the breathtaking vein of his unforgettable Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001). Spoken entirely in Inuktitut, the new film zeroes in on a smaller-scale story of good-versus-evil, more immediate and desperate, and rooted in the Westerns that Kunuk grew up watching. A loose remake of John Ford's masterpiece The Searchers (1956), Maliglutit is more a study of cruelty than of racial hatred; the kidnappers in this story are of the same tribe, but are vulgar and selfish—they don't share food—and have been exiled. It's 1913, and Kuanana (Benjamin Kunuk) goes out hunting caribou and returns to find his wife and daughter gone, stolen like possessions. (The kidnapping sequence is shown in a panicky frenzy of swarming furs, twisting and squirming in and out of frame.) Kuanana and his teenage son head back out into the snowy tundra on dogsled, seeking their family members and cold revenge. Like Ford, Kunuk pays vivid attention to the landscape, using lengthy takes to emphasize growing exhaustion as the Arctic ice pummels the search party. The unsettling sound design features female throat singing, as well as animal noises, raising a sense of harrowing dread. At first sharp and brutal, the film ultimately achieves a visceral, lyrical state. —Jeffrey M. Anderson

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Born in Kapuivik, Nunavut, Canada, Zacharias Kunuk made the internationally acclaimed Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001), the first Canadian dramatic feature film in Inuktitut. He grew up watching Westerns at the local community center and made money by carving and selling soapstone figures. Eventually he earned enough to buy his first video camera, teaching himself how to use it by making experimental films. Created with his regular collaborators, actor/co-director Natar Ungalaaq and co-writer Norman Cohn, Maliglutit (Searchers) is his third feature film.
Film Details
  • Country(ies): Canada
  • Language(s): Inuktitut
  • Year: 2016
  • Running time: 94
  • Director(s): Zacharias Kunuk
  • Producer(s): Zacharias Kunuk, Jonathan Frantz, Cara Di Staulo
  • Writer(s): Zacharias Kunuk
  • Cinematographer(s): Jonathan Frantz
  • Editor(s): Zacharias Kunuk, Norman Cohn
  • Music: Tanya Tagaq, Chris Crilly
  • With: Benjamin Kunuk, Jocelyne Immaroitok, Karen Ivalu

Print Source:
401 Richmond Street Ouest
M5V 3A8 Toronto, Canada