GenreAdventure, Drama, Family ScreenplayJohn Logue, Ralph Liddle CountryUSA
Release date1979 WriterRalph Liddle, John Logue Music directorBuffy Sainte-Marie, William Ackerman CastPius Savage, Chief Dan George, Slim Pickens, George Clutesi, William Ambrose Similar moviesSnow Dogs (2002), Kevin of the North (2001), A Claymation Christmas Celebration (1987), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), The Wolverine (2013)
Francois cahen spirit of the wind 1979
Spirit of the Wind (or Attla) is a 1979 American Northern film directed by Ralph Liddle.
The movie is a semi-biographical story based upon the early life and rise to prominence of Native American dog musher George Attla, Jr. (1933–2015). Attla, known as "the Huslia Hustler," took his nickname from one of his mentors, Jimmy Huntington, who first began winning races during Attla's childhood. In recent generations, this nickname has become associated with Attla far more than with Huntington. Attla was a leading star of the 1960s and 1970s in the sport of sprint dog sled racing. He won the Fur Rendezvous World Championship race, held in Anchorage, Alaska, 10 times between 1958 and 1982. He also won 8 championships in the Open North American Championship race, held in Fairbanks, Alaska. In addition, despite his mushing experience being geared more towards sprint than distance racing, Attla competed in the inaugural Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1973, placing fifth. In a 2011 interview, Attla spoke of the popularity of the Iditarod, and how sprint racing "is now a second-class sport" as a result.
The general theme of the story centered around Attla's rivalry with the other leading sprint competitors of the day, fellow Alaska Native Gareth Wright (the brother of political gadfly Don Wright and grandfather of modern-day dog musher Ramy Brooks) and Massachusetts musher Roland "Doc" Lombard, the preparations for an upcoming big race, and his first major race victory.
The movie was shot on location in Fairbanks, Alaska. A number of local actors, including local Alaska Natives, University of Alaska Fairbanks professor Lee Salisbury, and KFAR disc jockey/newscaster Bill Walley, appear in minor roles.
Chief Dan George as Moses
Slim Pickens as Obie
Pius Savage as George Attla
George Clutesi as George's father
Rose Attla Ambrose as Mother
William Ambrose as Young George
Rudy Wiehl as Young Steven
Eileen Newman as Young Marie
Louis Ambrose as Young Robert
Phyllis Attla as Marie
Curtis Erhart as Robert
Ace Rollins as Man in truck
Charlie Peters as Sammy Sam, the fiddler
Lee Salisbury as Doctor
Melinda Mattson as Nurse
John Adams as Isaak Isugliak, the kid at the hospital