Canadian Film Programmes Blog

- 2008
- 2007

It was the type of day that reminds you how dynamic and interesting this country’s history really is.


Set around the time of first contact for the Inuit, approximately 1840, and shot in northern Quebec, the cinematography and narrative strength of Before Tommorow is stunning.  Stark miles of snow have always looked wonderful on film, and the Inuit people’s struggle against nature is a fascinating topic, especially from the perspective of today’s typically coddled Canadian.


 Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner) and The Journals of Knud Rasmussen share these qualities and their success paved the way for feature length cinematic studies of the far north.  Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn, directors of those respective films, both served as producers on Before Tommorow.


“Thank you very much for having me here, I never thought I’d be at this type of event,” said co-director and star Madeline Piujuq Ivalu (pictured above with a translator).  It’s been a long and interesting road for Ivalue, who first started working with Arnait Video Productions in 1991.  The company was founded by Montreal’s Marie-Hélène Cousineau, M.F.A. to provide a voice to a fascinating culture we don’t catch too much of on CBC Newsworld.


It’s the tale of a grandmother and her daughter who must struggle to survive after their family is killed.  They battle the elements, tell stories and share something valuable that doesn’t seem available in modern culture.


The opening and closing sequences of the film are incredibly powerful.  The opening montage where familial camaraderie is exchanged over a fresh kill is somehow reminiscent of Michel Brault’s Pour La Suite Du Monde.  The final moments of the struggle are accented by a touch of such raw beauty it would be unfair to spoil it.


A theme song by Kate and Anna McGarrigle captures the profound mystery of the film magically.


The next screenings are Tueday at 8:15 and Friday at 9:30, both at the Varsity.