Director: ANDREW OKPEAHA MACLEAN
Hunting seals on the desolate sea ice of Alaska, Apuna witnesses a fatal brawl. Knowing both killer and victim he is faced with a terrible choice: honour the dead or protect the living.
Andrew Okpeaha MacLean was born and raised in Northern Alaska. Sikumi is the first ever film made entirely in his native Iñupiaq language and it won him the Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival 2008.
Shot on anamorphic 35mm, the film was made near MacLean’s home town, where the actors – none of whom had had any formal training - were also from.
Aesthetically, the location was important to MacLean, as was the isolated nature of the spot. It brought to mind the work of Sergio Leoni, director of the first commercially successful spaghetti western:
‘I find that westerns are really often about morality. You end up with characters, outside the boundaries of society, dealing with issues of right and wrong on a very personal basis.’
Commentary by director Andrew Okpeaha MacLean and Cara Marcous recorded in New York City, USA
Courtesy of Kiu?uya Productions