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The Fast Runner (Atanarjuat) (2002)

Natar Ungalaaq , Sylvia Ivalu , Zacharias Kunuk  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

Price: $29.28 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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The Fast Runner (Atanarjuat) + Before Tomorrow + On the Ice
Price for all three: $53.71

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Product Details

  • Actors: Natar Ungalaaq, Sylvia Ivalu, Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq, Lucy Tulugarjuk, Madeline Ivalu
  • Directors: Zacharias Kunuk
  • Writers: Pauloosie Qulitalik, Zacharias Kunuk, Norman Cohn, Herve Paniaq, Paul Apak Angilirq
  • Producers: Germaine Wong, Norman Cohn
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 24, 2003
  • Run Time: 172 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007L4ON
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,053 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Fast Runner (Atanarjuat)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Unprecedented. February 3, 2005
I saw this movie last night and made it all the way to bedtime without words. After having a chance to sleep on it, it is now starting to sink in how truly amazing this movie is. You will be first blown away by the fact that this movie even exists. It is truly unprecedented in every sense of the word. I don't remember seeing anything like it. the only movie remotely close is "Nanook of the North", which is a huge stretch. Unlike "Nanook", this movie is shot from the Inuit perspective, by the Inuit themselves (90% of the participants in this production were full-blooded Inuit. This is a first), and the characters are not looked upon as anthropological specimens. They are real people living in a fragile existence, where any wrong move could mean sure death.

The actors are astonishing, and it must have been so terribly cold up there. You know this must have been a huge labor of love for the production team. (According to the end credits, two crewmen died making this movie) The scenery is astonishing. It is a beautiful story based on an Inuit legend that exists on many different levels and subplots, etc. All told on the frozen tundra without ANY indication given about the timeframe, or even the century, in which it was set.

I am just astonished at the painstaking attention to historical detail. I have read many books on Inuit culture, and most everything I have read was visualized in this movie, the social structure, the power of the patriarch, the constant looming of starvation, the role of the hunter/husband, the insubordination of women (pre-arranged marriages), the obsession with taboo and curses, the fine art of building igloos and staying warm in -60 temps, and yet, through all the hardships, there was so much happiness.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A murder mystery set in the far north and recorded in an Inuit language... sounds like a long shot. Sounds almost certainly boring.

In fact, this is one of the most visually striking movies I have ever watched. Many scenes are world-class, and a few are among the most remarkable ever recorded: not just the arctic scenery, which is strange and sublime, but the igloo interiors, the now-famous run accross the ice, the many lingering close-ups in which no acting is evident, the low sun seen through and off of snow... Suspend disbelief and watch this movie.

Beyond the visuals, I have to say that the acting, which achieves a very enviable transparency and un-self-conscious immediacy, drew me to these characters like no other movie since Derzu Uzala. When the screen went black at the end I felt truly disoriented, as though stepping from one universe to another. The movie is utterly transporting. Hardly a moment wasn't completely convincing. I rate this a work of true originality, creative genius, and clear vision.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spend just a little more and buy the CANADIAN version! January 21, 2004
All of the terrific reviews below underscored here, BUT:
if you're going to drop $25 for this DVD, spend about $5 USDollars more and buy the CANADIAN "deluxe" version --
it includes a second "making of" disc that adds the trailer, an account of the legend behind the story,
and several other goodies.
There are several vendors in Canada (including
that carry the two-disc set, and it's a region-1-DVD, so it will play on your US DVD player.
Highly recommended ... gorgeous film --
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Only Atanarjuat runs like that" April 25, 2004
This is one of those movies that start out really slow, but if you hang in there and make it through the first forty-five minutes, you will end up satisfied. In my opinion the creators of "The Fast Runner" use the slow pace in the movie as a reflection of the speed at which life moves in the Inuit tribe on which the story focuses.
The movie starts when a demon visits an Inuit group and curses them. At this time, Tulimag is having trouble to feed his family and already starts receiving a treatment that is not the "usual" this society gives to its members. Eskimos are known for their generosity and solidarity, but Tulimag becomes the object of ridicule and he is only given the leftovers from the food the others get. Years later, his two sons are well respected and some of the best hunters in the group. Atanarjuat and Amaqjuart have a good life and are very close to each other. Atanarjuat is in love with Atuat, but she is promised to Oki, who is willing to fight for her. In the meantime, Oki's sister, Puja, is interested in Atanarjuat. The events develop and we get to see the special rules they use in their "duels" and their customs regarding marriages. When a severe tragedy knocks on the door, the adventure picks up in pace and the interest of the audience is grabbed until the end without letting go.
Except for the painfully slow pace at the beginning, this is a highly enjoyable movie. Nevertheless, you have to be in the mood to sit down for three hours and be patient until the events turn into something really interesting. Apart from the story in this particular case, I enjoyed learning about the uses and culture of this society, about which I knew very little. The other remarkable aspect is the photography, which is absolutely stunning! Overall, I think it is a creation worth seeing, but you have to carefully pick the moment to do so.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Runner
Arrived earlier than expected. The film is very well done. While some might think this film is too erotic, I did not agree.
Published 5 days ago by Lela A Llorens
5.0 out of 5 stars Cultural Phenom
A view of their world that's timeless and a good story too. I highly recommend it masterful in it's unique way.
Published 2 months ago by C. R.
5.0 out of 5 stars So natural, surreal, sublime and relate-able
Transported me. For me, a very different culture, environment, lifestyle, but the story touched home. I could feel it! Read more
Published 4 months ago by SarahNP
5.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood needs to take lessons from the Canadians
All subtitles and at times hard to follow the plot - it didn't exactly follow the plots given in the other material provided
Published 7 months ago by George R. Mead
5.0 out of 5 stars survival in the farthest North
This is an excellent movie about the people who occupy some of the remotest wilderness in the climate of the far North. For a low budget production it is remarkably well presented. Read more
Published 9 months ago by michael bossons
5.0 out of 5 stars Must watch
I enjoyed this film. It was exciting, profoundly interesting and spiritually insightful. I was reminded of growing up in Ontario, cold winters, going north to winter camps, the... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Lisa Atkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
This has to be the best ever movie of its genre. It is absolutely authentic and memorable. I wish there were more movies of this quality available.
Published 14 months ago by Sabine Nagasawa
5.0 out of 5 stars Great and authentic movie
Native film makers consider this the hallmark of authenticity and beauty in Native American film making. It's engaging and mysterious. I very highly recommend this movie. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Dianne Schlies
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Moving, Epic
I can not speak highly enough about this movie. It is both a work of art and a work from the heart. Many reviews here offer the basic story. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mark White
4.0 out of 5 stars snowy man running
An epic story of sex/lust/murdering is unfolded in the far north of Canada, in a timeless freeze-bitten location where natives' every step is a fight to simply survive... Read more
Published 24 months ago by Michael Kerjman
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