Maliglutit Screen 4 articles

Maliglutit

2016

Maliglutit Poster
  • Kunuk does not evince a filmmaking grammar that undermines any dominant paradigms, but his methodology engenders a specific kind of production that is its own reward, one to be cherished even as the narrative becomes etched all too expectantly upon the white expanse of the snow desert, stained now with just enough red.

  • Kunuk is turning the narrative form of Ford's masterwork The Searchers inside out... In Maliglutit, there is no Ethan Edwards, per se. No one is left standing in the doorway at the end, no one too sullied to reclaim his place in the fold. Instead, Kunuk shows us that the positions of 'insider' and 'outsider' are provisional at best, and forever subject to change. Or, put more bluntly, today's righteous warrior may be tomorrow's asshole.

  • The value of this authenticity to the story can’t be overstated — it’s warmly observational, with an obvious sense of pride in tradition, without being forthrightly ethnographic — but Kunuk knows not to foreground it. He doesn’t eschew plot or propulsion for detail, but rather slowly introduces dramatic elements after taking his time to establish a steady, quotidian clip.

  • The psychological complexities of The Searchers are replaced by a focus on the details of Inuit life in 1913 (an era in which firearms were starting to replace traditional weapons, above) and the frightening beauty of the bleak late-winter landscapes through which the chase progresses. The two women resist and seek to escape during the entire chase, and they play an active role in the climactic rescue.