Two brothers, Amaqjuaq (Pakkak Innukshuk ) and Atanarjuat (Natar Ungalaaq) are destined to challenge the order of life in a small nomadic Inuit community (many generations ago), which has been under the evil spell of an unknown shaman. The chief’s son, Oki (Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq) resents Atanarjuat when the latter wins the lovely Atuat (Sylvia Ivalu) as a wife, and seeks to kill him. But Atanarjuat survives escapes and runs for his life over the ice, with Oki in pursuit. And instead of revenge, he begins the process of healing the community – in his own fashion.

An evil spirit causing strife and one warrior\'s endurance and battle of its menace.

Over a thousand years ago, in the Inuit community of Igloolik, far above the Arctic Circle, live two brothers, Atanarjuat, known as \"the fast runner\", and Amaqjuag, \"the strong one\". The brothers are devoted to one another and they attempt to live a peaceful, traditional life, feeding on seals, fish and caribou. However, the brothers have an enemy in Oki, the son of the camp leader. Oki is betrothed to Atuat, but she prefers Atanarjuat. The rivals fight for her, and Atanarjuat wins; but Oki is a bad loser. This is said to be the first feature film made in the Inuit language, and the story is a legendary one, handed down from one generation to another since the dawn of time. The film is visually remarkable; the New York born cameraman, Norman Cohn, shot on digital Betacam, and the light is so intense in the far north that the images are quite wondrous. Scenes like the one in which the naked Atanarjuat flees from his enemies across the ice are extraordinary, and are beautifully handled by first-time feature director Zacharias Kunuk. But the film is pretty indulgent; at 2 hours and 50 minutes, it`s way, way too long, and considerable editing would have made it more audience friendly. Still, once you get into the gentle rhythm of it, you`re seduced by the exotic beauty of this rarely seen world and the adventures of these characters. In fact, it comes as a bit of a shock to see, over the end credits, scenes of shooting the film which remind us, a bit abruptly, that it`s only a movie.