Wednesday, August 26, 2009

two snow buntings

"grandmother, tell me a story..."

and so the wrinkled wise inuit woman begins yet another tale within a tale contextualised in the story-telling tradition of indigenous matrilineal societies with her young grandson, a captive audience. within the fleeced sanctity of a tundra tent, a cave offering shelter in the eye of a storm, or whilst searching for breathing holes in which to spear seals, the crone's spoken words, the handover of a long spoken custom of narrative knowledge hungrily feasted on in the realtime luxury of time & space the story takes to tell.

"an old woman shared a story with her grandson, they were alone much like us: there were baby lemmings.. and having no fur... their arms folded in for warmth harboring the life essence of their bodies... until off-balance they start to fall.

the boy was so startled by the story that he turned into a snow bunting and flew far out of the cave into the bright blue sky beyond. the grandmother cried until her eyes turned red but she could not find him no matter how hard she searched the sky, for her eyes could no longer see. with her magic ptarmigan around her neck she was able to cast a spell with her oil lamp and then flew off to join her grandson flying right out after him. they were no longer human but they were together. two snow buntings."

the transmogrification of the two snow buntings is metaphorical of the plight of the two central characters of the arnait video collective's [an inuit womens filmmaking tribe] breathtaking cinemascopic experience before tomorrow. this story is about diginity in the face of extreme social & environmental adversity and ultimately a journey of survival of the body & soul. the non-linear nature of the cycle of life.

to date the most powerful film i've seen this year in a similar vein to rolf de heer's, ten canoes but infinitely more beautiful. see it for the incredibly artic scenery which traverses all four seasons if not for anything else. another outstanding australian premiere at possible worlds canadian film festival.

[images courtesy of the film website]

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