Igloolik at the dawn of the first millennium, when nomadic Inuit were masters of the frozen arctic. Evil in the form of an unknown shaman divides a small community of Inuit, upsetting its balance and spirit. Twenty years pass. Two brothers emerge the evil order: Amaqjuaq, the Strong One, and Atanarjuat, the Fast Runner. Atarnarjuat wins the hand of the lovely Atuat away from the boastful son of the camp leader, Oki, who vows to get even. Oki ambushes the brothers in their sleep, killing Amaqjuaq, as Atanarjuat miraculously escapes running naked over the spring sea ice. But can he ever escape the cycle of vengeance left behind?