6.7/10
100
4 user 17 critic

Searchers (2016)

Maliglutit (original title)
Inspired by the John Ford film The Searchers, an Inuit woman and her daughter are kidnapped by three Inuit men, while her husband and son are away. The Inuit husband sets out on a journey to find his family and punish the perpetrators.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Benjamin Kunuk ...
Karen Ivalu ...
Tagaq
Jonah Qunaq ...
Aulla
Joey Sarpinak ...
Jocelyne Immaroitok ...
Joseph Uttak ...
Siku
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Storyline

Inspired by the John Ford film The Searchers, an Inuit woman and her daughter are kidnapped by three Inuit men, while her husband and son are away. The Inuit husband sets out on a journey to find his family and punish the perpetrators.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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My world was torn apart. When they want to get a wife, they become fearless and act without mercy.

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Drama

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6 January 2017 (USA)  »

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Searchers  »

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Could someone tell me what exactly is so great about going on a cruise? What's with all the hype?
30 May 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

While this film is undoubtedly nice to look at, I'm not sure it's worth sitting through an hour and a half of a thinly stretched plot to catch some of the lesser shots from an arctic documentary.

The idea of retelling the classic Ford film from the perspective of Inuit natives is a genuinely neat concept. It's basically the only reason I went to see Searchers. The problem is that this film doesn't really seem to understand what it is about its predecessor that made it so great (Beyond John Ford's skills as a director). The nuanced commentary on the relationship between the classic western and the American Indian is nonexistent here. The original story is stripped to its most basic elements, which reduces it to nothing more than a drawn out, slow speed, sled chase. It's really difficult to stay invested in the story after it gets going, because at a certain point you realize that there's only so much that can happen in a barren tundra whose sole inhabitants seem to be the on-screen characters and their frozen meat.

In all fairness, I think this film has value as a sort of pseudo- documentary. I'm sure people who love this film are inclined to go on endlessly about how authentic it is. I would have to agree, though it doesn't do all that much to help the film as a whole. There were a number of times where I thought "Oh that's cool, I didn't know Inuits did that." I can tell the director wants to do right by the subjects of his film. I appreciate the sentiment. The problem though, is that this film is not a documentary. It is meant to convey actual dramatic value, which it doesn't really pull off very well. We barely understand the characters and at a certain point I just had to accept that they're really more meant to act as a sort of abstraction of the Inuit people. That seems like a good way to approach the film as a whole. It's an abstraction. I don't know if that's what the director intended, but that's the best excuse I can come up with.

This film isn't terrible. It is genuinely beautiful with some cinematography which I actually think really complimented the sort of desert setting we're observing. There are also homages to The Searchers which I feel are executed fairly well from a visual stand point (Again though, the homage is sort of undercut by a sort of misunderstanding of the source material). If you're a fan of the original western or are interested in learning a little bit about the Inuit people then I might recommend this film. Honestly though, what I would rather recommend is that you either just go back and watch the original Ford film again or a comprehensive documentary on the Inuit people.

For everyone else, I wouldn't bother.


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