Heart of Light (1998) Poster

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A political statement - fine with me!
Chris Engelbrecht3 August 2002
This is the first feature movie ever to come out of Greenland. In Nuuk, the capital of Greenland with a population of barely 10.000 people, this movie sold 20.000 tickets.

The movie deals with the struggles and social problems for a Greenlandic people needing to remember their own identity. We are faced with Greenland's problems with alcohol and suicides left behind by a well-meant, but misplaced Danish colony-policy. We watch a man's personal tragedy and following search for acceptance deep in the Greenlandic wilderness, a nature so spectacular it does take your breath away on the screen.

This type of story has probably been told before, and probably better. Some acting performances are extremely poor, much of the cast are local and untrained. The lead role played by Rasmus Lyberth, a talented Greenlandic music performer, however carries the movie. In a somewhat mediocre production, the much deserved pride of Greenland shines through by the end of the movie. For the broadening of one's global perspective, this movie is recommended.
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A moving tale...worth a watch
bronco4x430 January 2004
It's something a little different, and perhaps, this is probably one of the fewest successful films produced and filmed exclusively all in Greenland. The movie is based on conflicts within a family, between modern and traditional cultures. Unfortunately, it ended with a few tragedies, including one in the family. However, such conflicts do exist there in Greenland. If you travel there one day, you may find in the larger towns anything from buses and Mercedes-Benz taxis, to apartment blocks and pubs playing modern hit music. Yet there are still natives who are very proud of their own traditions and do not like the change that the western world has brought them. And in many cases, its younger versus the older generation.

Not only this movie has a moving tale, it will also introduce you Greenland's vast, yet hauntingly beautiful wilderness. Just seeing its fascinating land & icescapes gets my high credits from me.

Worth a watch, give it a try!
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A moving film about culture and identity in Greenland.
rbreen13 October 1999
Rasmus, an Inuit-speaking Greenlander, is regarded by most people as a drunken failure. When his son goes on a suicidal shooting spree, he has to cope with the shame this brings on his family. He goes on a journey into the depths of Greenland and finds out a lot about himself and his past. I was afraid this was going to be a pretentious film, but with strong performances, a fine score, and some excellent footage of the starkly beautiful landscapes of Greenland, I found it a moving experience. Not everyone will like its mixture of realistic drama and fantasy, nor the neatly-contrived screenplay, but for anyone who can relate to its central theme - the difficulty of maintaining one's own cultural identity in the face of another dominant culture and the technology of the modern world, it is a thought-provoking and ultimately uplifting film.
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one man's hunt
el__cid11 April 2005
Although I initially had to see this film for a course, I must admit that I've found myself going back to it from time to time. I find that it deals with the issue of a modernized Greenland and Dutch colonization quite well and the cast of characters, their personal and touching story anyway, to be uplifting and refreshing. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in post colonial Artic cinematic representations as well as those interested in seeing something off the beaten track. It did move me at times and I find it to deal with themes of alienation, identity and redemption through the vast wilderness exceptionally well.
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Self discovery in the white washed mountains of Greenland.
DukeEman22 February 2003
The Danes come to town and take over the Inuit's culture, altering them to a town of drunks with no sense of direction. The town's main chief drunk Rasmsu, falls victim to the destruction of modern change when his son goes on a killing spree and then turns the rifle on himself. Rasmus falls apart and journeys on a spiritual quest to find his ancestral way of living as he runs into the white washed mountains of Greenland. It is here that the widescreen works with the barren cold landscape being the backdrop for Rasmu's self discovery. The photography and music cover the structural gaps in this tale that is worth seeing on the big screen.
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way-56 November 2000
Perhaps some people may find this movie a little too sincere. I, however, was moved deeply. Maybe it was the combination of seeing "The Whole Nine Yards" earlier that day, which treats the killing of other people as a comedic device. Cynical and sly, that one -- a little dose of tobacco for the soul. I hope that I never get so old and sophisticated to be untouched by a parable that treats life as precious, to complain that it was over told. Heart of Light is breath of fresh air!
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Nice scenery, not too engrossing
alanjj-321 September 1999
I saw this at the Danish New Wave series at Lincoln Center. I had always wanted to see a depiction of life in Greenland, and this is it. The program describes the movie in this way: "The first feature film shot totally in Greenland - which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark - HEART OF LIGHT is the story of Rasmus (played by Rasmus Lyberth, a celebrated Greenlandic singer), a man sinking into a mire created by constant unemployment and alcohol. When one of his sons goes on a killing spree, Rasmus turns inward, searching inside himself for the answers to the tragedy that's become his life. He embarks on an extraordinary journey into Greenland's vast, snowy interior; there, amid the towering blue skies, clear light and mountains of ice, he will re-establish contact with the culture he has lost, finding in tradition the strength to cope with the modern."

Yes there is nice scenery; yes you will see actual Greenlandish actors depicting life in Greenland. But beyond that the film holds little interest. Rasmus's finding himself is triggered by encountering a wacky mystic amid the snowbanks and glaciers, who reveals something that connects Rasmus with his past. It's a plot device both silly and so-what.

After the picture, Rasmus Lyberth, who depicted Rasmus, did some singing, which should have been in the movie to make it more enjoyable.
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