The Journals of Knud Rasmussen
Autumn 2006 Edge series
Sunday, October 8, 2006 at 4:00pm
Directed by Norman Cohn and Zacharias Kunuk
Starring Pakak Innukshuk, Leah Angutimarik, Neeve Uttak, Samuelie Ammaq, Eugene Ipkarnak, Jens Jørn Spottag, and Jakob Cedergren
Rated NR ·
Inuktitut and Danish
January 1922. With powerful forces of a new century pressing in around them, Danish explorer and scientist Knud Rasmussen (Jens Jørn Spottag) visits the isolated camp of the great Igulik shaman, Aua (Pakak Innukshuk, Atanarjuat). For Rasmussen and his protegé, the young anthropologist Therkel Mathiassen (Jakob Cedergren), arriving at Aua’s family camp is like falling into Paradise, an arctic Garden of Eden with an intoxicating mix of spiritual and physical vitality, joyful intelligence and exuberant generosity. What the Danes don’t realize is that Aua’s temporary fortress of beauty and tranquility stands surrounded by the steamroller of the twentieth century — the introduction of Inuit-language Christian bibles, increasing dependence on foreign trade goods and the first police investigation of a murder of a white man — and that the nomadic Inuit can’t stay in one place even if there’s nowhere safe to go.
Directed by Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn (Atanarjuat), The Journals of Knud Rasmussen takes the Inuit tradition of storytelling and marries it with modern filmmaking technology, and the result is a compelling epic tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.