Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sami Blood

What? Those wonderful Swedes are racist? Well when it comes to the Sami people, otherwise known as Laplanders, that live across the north of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the adjacent part of Russia, they suffered racism across all 4 countries.

Sami Blood is a film inspired by the director's grandmother's life story and expands on an earlier short film on the subject called Stoerre Vaerie (Northern Great Mountain). Bookended by modern segments about an old woman going to her sister's funeral, the bulk of the film is set in the 1930s and is about Ella-Marja a bright and stubborn teenage Sami girl who outgrows her one room school and decides to cross the divide between Sami life and Swedish life. While not illegal, her decision is considered wrong by both her family and almost every Swede she meets.

Ella-Marja's determination and the condescension and hostility she meets among the Swedes are the defining themes of the film. This could have been a depressing film but as none of the characters are completely good (even our heroine) and the scenes of her trying to fit in are played with gentle humour (as is the sex scene), it is on the balance an upbeat film, which should make you a little bit angry.

Ian's rating 3/5

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