You might expect a film with the words "fast and
runner" in the title to clip along fairly swiftly. I
did. Well, let's just say you can benefit from my
error. This is a slow paced film - tribal life slow.
And there's very little running, though one long dash
is rather pivotal to the story.
The most striking mark of the film is its
authentic feel. I say "feel" because I have never
lived in an Inuit tribe, still it's my "feel" that
this film is incredibly authentic. From skinning
flesh off animal hides, to keeping the seal oil
burning, to carving snow igloo blocks, to fur coats,
to the clicking native tongue. In fact, I'd had
assumed they'd just recruited these tribal people for
the film and through miraculous direction or some
kind of "video" innocence captured the purity of
their natural reactions.
The film's ending credits, however, reveal the
reality of the performance: video cameras,
sound-personnel and actors and actress, all Inuit,
but not necessarily tent/igloo dwellers. High praise
must be given to the direction and acting that made
it all feel not just real, but truly authentic.
That said, this 4000-year-old folk tale of love,
community, betrayal, and murder takes nearly half the
film to compel and by then you might be just a tad
antsy. And clocking in at 2.75 hours, with many an
indulgently lengthy cut, you may be sighing for a
At times endearing, humorous, spooky, educational,
but at other times as bland as a block of snow. Make
sure you pack the right mood to this one.
Shot in digital video, interior night scenes lit
by burning seal oil create a haunting mood in orange
sepia. Exteriors don't reproduce so well, but the
actors provide a great contrast to all that blaring
white snow with their rich color, costume and