This movie and Windwalker are two of the only movies that I have seen about Native Americans with no white men. Atanarjuat is even more unique in that, when I first watched it, I had no idea of the time period in which it was taking place. I have since read that it was set in the 11th century.
Atanarjuat, lasting almost three hours, takes its time showing the customs and rituals of the Inuit with their family and nature centered lifestyle.
In addition to showing a fascinating lifestyle, much in the way Nanook of the North did, it also has a Shakespearean kind of story attached, based on an Inuit legend, that was very entertaining to watch.
I had seen Nanook years ago and I had always wondered how someone could live in that environment. This movie actually made the lifestyle look enjoyable. The movie showed a strong family life driven by the need for cooperation. It also showed a simpler, less complex life built around hunting and fishing.
Love, romance, murder and revenge set among the Inuits of the 11th century. This is a really good movie.