Network / Projects
Participated in: MIDPOINT Intensive Iceland 2016
Naaja is a young Inuit girl. She lives alone with her father who abuses her. He and the other villagers don´t see eye to eye, so he decides to leave with his young daughter and head out into the wilderness. He is wounded while hunting a walrus and later dies of his wounds. Naaja blames herself for his death because of her violation of Inuit taboos. She goes back to the village and is soon married. She has trouble getting pregnant which is unforgivable in this society. She is certain that the reason is her taboo violation but doesn´t dare tell anyone. The village shaman is given the task of getting her pregnant but he discovers that she has supernatural talents and wants her to become a shaman. Her husband has taken another wife and reluctantly gives his approval. When she then admits to her violations she is banished from society. In the outback/wilderness she sees white men, Icelanders, fighting a polar bear. One of them, Kolbeinn, is killed by the bear but she manages to kill it and save the other man´s, Mikjál´s, life. He is badly injured but she gets him to a hunting hut and nurses him. They do not understand each other and regard each other as barbarians. They stay at the hut through the winter. They become attracted to one another and end up sleeping together the day before he leaves to go back to his people. That makes her his wife according to Inuit traditions. They go to the Icelander´s hunting lodge where six men have been isolated during the whole winter. Moral is low and tensions mount with the arrival of the young barbarian woman. One of the men tries to rape Naaja when Mikjáll is absent but she manages to defend herself. She is well received by Mikjál´s family when they finally arrive at his village but regarded as an emissary of the devil by the priest. She fosters the orphaned children of Kolbein, Mikjál´s foster brother, but has a difficult time understanding the white people´s way of thinking. The priest denounces Naaja as a witch after an incident where a raven attacks him. Naaja is consequently tried at the site of parliament, in the adjacent fjord and convicted to burn at the stake. Mikjáll manages to set her free under cover of night and they escape along with his family. A black mist encircles them on their way back and they see a large slave ship approach. They turn back to warn the people but lose their way in the fog and end up at their home. They find that the village has been pillaged and burnt so they turn back to the boats and head north.