07 November, 2011

Savannah: "Inuk" (****)

Ole Jørgen Hammeken stars in "Inuk"
Considering Greenland's first feature film production was 2009's “Nummioq,” I was likely not alone when I confessed to never having seen a Greenlandic movie before. (I must admit that I had to look up whether the correct demonym was 'Greenlandish' or 'Greenlandic.') That changed recently after watching “Inuk.” Director Mike Magidson created an energetic look at both a boy and a culture in modern Greenland as they each undergo dynamic changes.

I was reminded a little of Danny Boyle's Oscar champ “Slumdog Millionaire,” thanks to the frantic soundtrack and the youthful energy provided by a young cast of non-professional actors. While the story is neither as complex nor as contrived as Boyle's film, it maintains a simplistic charm which allows you to grow a bit closer to the both of the film's leads, Gaba Peterson (Inuk) and Ole Jørgen Hammeken (Ikuma).

Greenland's icy landscape is both chilling and mesmerizing. I cannot begin to imagine how difficult filming must have been for any crew members that were not from the area. Nonetheless, the film is shot and edited exceptionally; a fact that enough people agreed on to award it Best Narrative Feature, Best Director and Best Editing at the 2011 Savannah Film Festival. I was fortunate enough to see both Magidson and Hammeken say a few words about the film after it screened.

4 out of 5 stars.

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