Monday, September 18, 2006

Historical End of an Era

by Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn

The Journals of Knud Rasmussen tells the story of an Inuit shaman and is drawn from the writings of a member of a Danish scientific team. While the source material is Danish, the film is told from the point of view of Avva, the shaman and his daughter Apak. Set in 1922, it shows the transition from shamanism to Christianity from a perspective that I’ve never seen before. Beautifully shot in HD with a documentary feeling, it’s a film with unfamiliar rhythms. After about 15 minutes it all started to click together and I was completely engrossed. It’s a great way to kick off a festival.

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