The title of the latest film by the directing duo Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn makes one think their most recent cinematographic adventure will be told from the perspective of the Greenlander/Danish anthropologist Knud Rasmussen. Despite Rasmussen’s mixed Danish and Inuit background, the makers choose the experiences of the rebellious young woman Apak as starting point for the historic encounter that took place in 1922 between European explorers and the Inuit population.
Apak, the daughter of the local shaman, would prefer to make love spiritually to her first, now deceased, husband than dedicate herself to her new one. This leads to some disagreement with her father. The tensions in the family acquire a broader dimension when outsiders arrive. Together with several other Inuits, Apak accompanies Rasmussen’s difficult expedition to the island of Igloolik. On the way, they land up in another Inuit community. Here, the Inuits have converted to Christianity and renounced their own traditions.
The film focuses on the encounters between different cultures, religious communities, generations and material and spiritual worlds. As a result, the Inuit culture retains many of the enigmas that Rasmussen probably wanted to unravel during his first visit. In the overwhelming ice landscape, all attempts to fathom the deeper meaning of life are no more than rarefied echoes. (SdH)

Filmmaker
Zacharias Kunuk, Norman Cohn
Country
Canada, Denmark
Year
2006
Medium
35mm
Length
112’
Language
Inuktitut
Producer
Norman Cohn
Production Company
Igloolik Isuma Productions Inc., Barok Films A/S
Sales
Isuma Distribution International
Writer
Zacharias Kunuk, Norman Cohn
Cinematography
Norman Cohn
Editor
Norman Cohn, Cathrine Ambus, Félix Lajeunese
Production Design
Zacharias Kunuk, Louis Uttak
Sound Design
Richard Lavoie
Cast
Leah Angutimarik, Pakak Innukshuk
Website
https://www.isuma.tv/isuma-productions/journals-knud-rasmussen