Heart of Light (1998)

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Jacob Gronlykke directed this $3 million Danish drama, the first production filmed completely in Greenland, with Inuit dialogue. The story begins with the 1947 ceremonies in which Greenland becomes part of Denmark; Danish king Christian X gives a ceremonial rifle to Greenland's Niisi Lynge. A half-century later, Niisi's son Rasmus (Rasmus Lyberth) still has the rifle, but past dreams have gone sour. The alcoholic Rasmus, married to aggressive Marie (Vivi Nielsen), has many problems because of his drinking, and so does his son Niisi (Knud Peterson), who drunkenly kills his brother's girlfriend and then commits suicide. The grief-stricken Rasmus sets out across the frozen land on a risky hunting trip, and the film's tone shifts from realism to satire as Danish female environmentalists make fun of his crude clothing and gear. A helicopter pilot lands and tries to talk Rasmus into turning back. In a folkloric vein, Rasmus encounters a hermit, the Qivittoq (Anda Kristiansen), who takes him into a mystical world for a reunion with his father. Shown at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

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