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Movie Review: The Fast Runner (Atanarjuat)

Story: Run as fast as you can to the theater in your community that is showing this fabulous film. It has everything that makes a film great. The cinematography fills your eyes with wonder, the story is universal and the characters have depth.

Directed by Inuit native Zacharias Kunuk and shot by NY born Norman Cohn the story takes place 100 miles above the Arctic circle about a thousand years ago and brings to life a centuries old oral tradition about the Inuit culture. It has all of the elements of modern day soap operas and human tragedy. It has jealousy, lust, rape, love, revenge, patricide, fate, spirits, loyalty, betrayal and lots of weather. There are scenes that you will never forget. It is a foreign film that truly is foreign. We learn a lot about the Inuit culture and its deep tradition. You will be a lot richer for experiencing this wonderful epic.

Acting: Spectacular performances by all.

Critters and Food: I have to give credit to my Cousin Judy for suggesting to me that the critters actually are the food in this film. And so I am combining these categories into one for this film. The caribou, seal, walrus and rabbit are all food items. (My vegetarian friends will have a high squirm factor during this film.) Sled dogs are the only critters not eaten (at least not on screen). Critters are also used as garments. This is a fur wearing culture. Brrr!

Visual Art: The landscape is blindingly beautiful. Each scene is more astonishing than the next. There is no igloo art. Although Bob Vila would be mighty impressed with the how to's on igloo making.

Blatant Product Placement: None, obviously.

Soundtrack: Soulful, plaintive and perfect.

Opening Titles: Simple. Please stay through the ending credits. There are some wonderful out-takes on the making of the film that are worth the extra five minutes of your time. (You have already sat for three hours...what's another five minutes?)

Theater Audience: More people in the audience than in the entire film. I had wished I had brought a sweater. All of that snow and ice caused me to feel a bit chilly.

Quirky Meter: 6

Squirm Scale: 3 - The sled dogs are not treated well.

Predictability Level: I had no idea what was going to happen and was delighted to be taken for this delicious ride.

Oscar Worthy: Yes

Nit Picking: No nits to be. I don't think nits can live in that sub-zero climate.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure.

Length: Almost three hours. I know this is way over the two hour Lobo rule but occasionally we need to break our own rules, yes?

LOBO HOWLS: 9