Berlinale: Programme

Film file

NATIVe - Indigenous Cinema

Maliglutit (Searchers)

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It is winter in Nunavut in the early 1900s. An intimate, lively celebration in an igloo is disrupted by four misbehaving hunters. An elder anticipates a bad omen, so the group decides to ban these men, as their egoistic ways are a threat to the community’s stability. The men wander off enraged, feeling superior and fearless, forgetting their tradition. Far away from this turmoil, Kuanana leads a tranquil and content nomadic life with his family. He is a man of unwavering spirit, patient and focused. He sets out on a hunting trip, unknowing that savagery will befall his home, when the brutal renegades kidnap his wife and daughter. Kuanana goes out for revenge. With striking cinematography that comfortably sways between the vast open ice and the warm enclosed mood in the igloos, a hypnotic soundtrack, and genuine characters, eminent director Zacharias Kunuk delivers a masterful and artistic Western: an Inuit Western.

Zacharias Kunuk

Canada 2016


94 min · Colour


Benjamin Kunuk (Kuanana)
Jocelyne Immaroitok (Aila)
Karen Ivalu (Tagaq)
Joseph Uttak (Siku)
Joey Sarpinak (Kupak)
Jonah Qunaq (Aulla)


Written and directed by
Zacharias Kunuk
Director of Photography
Jonathan Frantz
Norman Cohn, Zacharias Kunuk
Tanya Tagaq, Chris Crilly
Tobias Haynes
Production Design
Susan Avingaq
Susan Avingaq
Atuat Akkirtiq
Natar Ungalaaq, Lucy Tulugarjuq
Assistant Director
Natar Ungalaaq
Zacharias Kunuk, Jon Frantz, Cara Di Staulo


Zacharias Kunuk

Born in Kapuivikn Nunavut, Canada, in 1957. In 2001, he won the Camera d’Or at Cannes for his first feature Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner. President and co-founder of Igloolik Isuma Productions, Canada’s first Inuit-owned independent production company. His feature The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, co-directed with Norman Cohn, opened the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006. He says that his professional education in filmmaking started and ended with an instruction given to him that he might recharge his camera battery.


1995 Nunavut: Our Land 2001 Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner 2010 Qapirangajuq: Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change 2011 Sirmilik 2013 Inuit Cree Reconciliation 2016 Maliglutit (Searchers)

Produced by

Igloolik, Canada
+1 867 9348725

World sales

Toronto, Canada
+1 416 3511317