before tomorrow

Madeline Piujuq Ivalu, Marie-Helene Cousineau

Canada / 2007 / 93'

The Arctic, 1840. Many Inuit tribes live completely isolated and far from western civilization. They have never met any white people, although legends and rumours circulate about them. Two families who have had a longstanding friendship meet again many years after having been separated and isolated. It is summer and they celebrate their reunion. The old tell stories, the young get married, there is plenty of food and everybody makes plans for the future. Despite the joyful atmosphere, Ningiuq, a strong and wise old woman, cannot stop worrying because of a series of foreboding presentiments that she seems to be the only one to perceive. After a successful fishing season, it is necessary to dry the winter’s catch on a remote island and Ningiuq volunteers to take on this chore, taking this as an opportunity to spend some time alone to meditate. Her grandson Maniq and her old friend Kutuguk decide to follow her. The destiny of these three on the island becomes more and more uncertain as they wait in vain for the return of the others as the cold autumn begins. Cold and mystery grow. No one comes. Where is everybody? When the first snow falls Ningiuq bravely decides to return to the main camp to see what happened to the others. After an adventurous and hard journey she finds that everyone is dead and everything is destroyed. She will be obliged, alone, to protect her grandson’s life and his people’s identity threatened by the new white conquerors.


Madeline Piujuq Ivalu

Madeline Piujuq Ivalu is an Inuit Canadian artist. Writer, musician and actress, she has collaborated with the Arnait production company since its establishment. She participated in the Qaigit Symposium in Ottawa in 1996 and she is a representative of Paukktuit, the Inuit Women Canadian Organization.

Marie-Helene Cousineau

Marie Hélène Cousineau is a Canadian artist and writer. She is the coordinator and producer of the Arnait Video Artistic Circle, which she founded. She is an Arctic Culture scholar. She wrote, directed and told many stories about Igloolik women: she was also the curator of many exhibitions displaying their handicrafts. Her artistic production has been internationally exhibited. Cousineau has specialised in Communications at the University of Iowa and was associate professor in Communications at the Concordia University in Montreal (1997-1999).

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