Before Tomorrow

Institute History

  • 2009 Sundance Film Festival


It's circa 1840 in the northernmost tundra of Inuit-land. In the Arctic Circle, some Inuit tribes still have never met any white people, although rumors circulate about what they might be like, where they come from, and why they are there.

As the Europeans encroach upon the territory and the Inuit clans go about their nomadic life, two elder women and a young boy go to an isolated island to perform the task of drying their clan's cache of fish in preparation for the long winter. The clan promises to fetch them after the fish are dried and before the water freezes over, but as the fall hunting season ends and they fail to return, something appears to have gone very wrong.

In their first feature, Madeline Piujuq Ivalu and Marie-Hélène Cousineau of the Arnait Video Collective base their film on the novel For Morgendagen by Danish writer Jørn Riel. They combine traditional Inuit storytelling traditions with European cinema techniques to portray a story of a grandmother and a grandson who fend for themselves after tragedy strikes their clan.

With stellar performances by Madeline Piujuq Ivalu as Ningiuq and Paul-Dylan Ivalu as Maniq, viewers experience the harshness of the tundra and the love of family in the most trying of times.

— N. Bird Runningwater

Screening Details

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