Heart of Light (Qaamarngup uummataa)
Description: Colonization is not best understood as simply economic or political dominance as Danish director Jacob Grenlykke makes abundantly clear in his marvelous feature debut, Heart of Light. The effects of cultural imperialism are insidiously psychological and social, and the human consequences are often long term and debilitating. To mark Denmark's formal colonial accession of Greenland, Rasmus Lynge's father received a rifle which is ensconced on the living room wall in the family's humble dwelling. But the onset of modernization has not treated many of the natives of Greenland well, and Rasmus is a man in the process of disintegration. Hopelessly alcoholic, he is openly shunned by one of his sons, who is deeply ashamed of his father's behavior. Rasmus has become the town buffoon, rambling on about hunting and the traditional practices of his native heritage. When his older son seizes the rifle and goes on a killing spree after a stormy family birthday celebration, Rasmus's already-disillusioned world collapses, and he heads off into Greenland's vast snowy interior. What ensues is a remarkable and magical odyssey that brings Rasmus face to face with his heritage and the core of his being. Heart of Light is a wonderful, stunningly beautiful portrait of a man's search for self- realization. It is the first feature shot wholly in Greenland, so much of it is in the native language. As powerful a spiritual quest as ever filmed, this is an inspiring and perfectly realized drama that will certainly touch anyone who experiences it.
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