The Journals of Knud Rasmussen to open TIFF

IndieWIRE reports that The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, the latest film about Inuit culture from the makers of Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001), will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7:

“Once we saw Norm and Zach’s film, we knew that one of the most important films from and about Canada had crossed our paths,” explained festival co-director Noah Cowan, in an email exchange with indieWIRE today. “Although we still have significant work to see from major Canadian directors, the unique storytelling and aesthetics of this film as our Opening Night speaks both to our core charitable mission of fostering motion picture culture and to showcase the diversity of global filmmaking worldwide.”

In the announcement from the festival, the film (set in 1922 in Igloolik) is described as “the story of the last great Inuit shaman, Avva, and his beautiful and headstrong daughter, Apak, who lives one foot in her father’s world and the other on the verge of the future.” Continuing, the description says, “As Avva strives to keep his family together on their path into the twentieth century, where the rise of Christianity and commerce is putting a swift end to their culture, a team of Danish scientists arrives to make record of his way of life.”

The filmmakers had talked about taking their film to Cannes, where Atanarjuat received a fair bit of acclaim a few years ago — but if it’s premiering in the fall, I guess that isn’t happening, now.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).