“Even if you didn’t know that Zacharias Kunuk’s new film is inspired by John Ford’s 1956 classic western The Searchers, you might easily guess it.
“Both films have a family’s vengeful quest driving the narrative, and both display the most naked of emotions, played out over an unforgiving frontier — dusty plains for The Searchers; snow, ice and -42C wind chill for Maliglutit, titled for the Inuit term for “followers.”
“Set in Nunavut, circa 1913, Maliglutit is the story of caribou hunter Kuanana (Benjamin Kunuk) who discovers tragedy upon his return home. Four violent hunters, previously banished by the family, murdered his baby son, left his parents for dead and kidnapped Kuanana’s wife Ailla (Jocelyne Immaroitok) and daughter Tagaq (Karen Ivalu). Guided by his father’s spirit helper — a loon called Kallulik — Kuanana sets out with eldest grandson Siku (Joseph Uttak) to rescue Ailla and Tagaq — who are far from helpless — and to settle a score.” - Toronto Star