VOICES AND VISIONS

March 16—31
Curator: Sardana Savvina
In this selection of films, the viewer is invited to inspect the colonial past of various different Arctic countries, and to look into the complex issues connected with the process of decolonising the consciousness of the indigenous peoples who live there. The films raise questions about people's rights to their ancestral lands and to self-identification, touching upon issues around the essence of national identity, as well as tackling the question of what the disappearance or revival of traditional cultures and languages may lead to in the future. All the works included were created by authors who themselves are carriers and representatives of indigenous cultures, and it is this that constitutes the value of these films, which make it possible to see and hear their stories in the first person.

Sardana Savvina is a producer, researcher and promoter of Yakut cinema, head of the Sakhafilm film company.

Sami blood

dir. Amanda Kernell
Sweden. 2016. 110 min.


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A reindeer-breeding Sámi girl, who is exposed to the racism of the 1930s at her boarding school, starts dreaming of another life. But to achieve it, she has to become someone else and break all ties with her family and culture.

The Kautokeino Rebellion

dir. Nils Gaup
Norway. 2008. 96 min


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A historical drama about conflict in the far north, between the Sami and Norwegian officials back in the early 1850s. Once antagonisms got out of hand they erupted into a huge rebellion, something hitherto unprecedented for the Norwegian North. According to some reports, the Sami were erecting monuments in honour of this episode well into the 20th century in central Norway, as memories of that courageous rebellion still lingered on.

Tsamo

dir. Anastasia Lapsui, Markku Lehmuskallio
Finland. 2015. 92 min.


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In 1860, when Alaska and Finland both belonged to the Russian Empire, a Finnish mining engineer named Simon buys the ten-year-old Tsamo, a Native American girl from Alaska, and brings her to live in Finland. Having baptised the girl in church, Simon starts teaching her the European way of life, but she is under the impression that she has married Simon and acts accordingly. When he then marries a woman of his own age and status, Tsamo is left thoroughly perplexed.

Toyon kyyl (The Tsar-Bird)

dir. Eduard Novikov
Russia. 2018. 80 min.


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Yakutia, the 1930s. In the deep forests of the taiga, the old man Mikipper and his wife Oppuos are quietly living out their days. The cows, hunting and fishing – such comprise the entirety of these elderly people's unpretentious life. One fine day at the beginning of winter, an eagle flies to them. On a cold Christmas evening, the eagle enters the house and occupies the place of honour in the corner of the room, on the shelf bearing the religious icons. From that day forth, the couple and the bird begin to live together in the same house.

Uvanga

dir. Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Madeline Piujuq Ivalu
Canada. 2013. 86 min.


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This is a story of homecoming and reconciliation told in the patient, rhythmic cadences of Inuit voices. A woman (Marianne Farley) takes her 14-year-old son (Lukasi Forrest) to the Arctic to meet his late father's estranged Inuit family.

One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk

dir. Zacharias Kunuk
Canada. 2019. 113 min.


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Noah Piugattuk's nomadic Inuit band live and hunt by dog team, just as his ancestors did. When the white man known as Boss arrives in camp, what appears as a chance meeting soon opens up the prospect of momentous change.

SUMÉ – The Sound of a Revolution

dir. Inuk Silis Høegh
Greenland/Denmark. 2014. 73 min.


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From 1973 to 1976 the Greenlandic rock band Sumé released three albums and changed the history of Greenland. The group's political songs were the first to be recorded in the Greenlandic language – a language that prior to Sumé didn't have words for "revolution" or "oppression". After 250 years of Danish colonisation Sumé set in motion a revival of Greenlandic culture and identity, and paved the way for a Greenlandic home rule government.