by Jack Nilan            EMail :

Maina (2013)

Jack   A

IMDB    6.8

Tribe(s) : Innuit, Innu

Language : Inuktitut, Innu and English



   Maina tells the story of the meeting of two indigenous tribes of Canada, the Innu and their northern neighbors the Inuit. The movie opens with a scene of Maina, the daughter of the Innu leader Mishtenapuu, shooting and killing a wolf with her bow and arrow.

The Innu tribe meets with a Inuit tribe who they call "Men of Land Without Trees." After a battle, a young Innu boy, Nipki is taken by the Inuit. Maina decides that she will pursue the Inuit and try to get Nipki back.

Maina is soon captured by the Inuit, and taken as a partner for the leader, Natak. They head up to the Inuit land. On the journey Maina begins to develop for the Inuit people and for Natak in particular.

In the Inuit land we see the customs and culture of the Inuit people. Maina joins in the hunting and captures fish and a seal, but this is taboo for Inuit women and they make her feel like an outsider. But Maina and Natak fall in love and Maina starts to take on Inuit culture. However, when Natak's bast friend shows up and wants to have Maina for the night, as is the custom of the people, Maina refuses to the consternation of Natak. He tells her that she will never be an Inuit and breaks the little stone polar bear he made for her.

But love is stronger than culture and he goes after her, they make up and he carves her a new little bear. The Inuit then meet up with the Innu and as the movie ends it seems like they will all get along.

The movie was beautifully shot and it had a Native American cast. It also had some great scenes about pre-European Inuit life and culture. The story could have been better.