Angelaki 19 (4):95-110 (2014)

:This paper examines the transmediation of sacrifice in the Isuma “Fast Runner” trilogy, focusing in particular upon The Journals of Knud Rasmussen. In this film the impact of the introduction of Christianity upon traditional Inuit culture in the 1920s sets the stage for literal and metaphorical sacrifice, tied inexorably to the parallel threat of conversion and the transvaluation of traditional shamanistic beliefs. In the process, the film maintains a critical stance with respect to both the ethnographic perspective of the outsider, which it incorporates, and to its own preferred Inuit perspective. My reading of the transmediation of sacrifice in The Journals rests upon the relation between sacrificial substitution and the notion of communion, in both doctrinaire and more secular senses. I argue that the film presents the Inuit characters negotiating a necessary détente with Christian culture, both at the cost of traditional beliefs and in the form of the co-optation and transmediation of ritual within the film's story, a process mirrored in the appropriation of the digital video medium in the fictional re-creation of these events.
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DOI 10.1080/0969725x.2014.984445
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