30 January 2017 // Puck Gall //Amsterdam
Little did I know about the Sami before watching this intriguing movie directed by Amanda Kernell. Sami Blood tells the story of how the semi-nomadic reindeer-herding Sami community in Sweden got discriminated in the 1930’s.
Elle-Marja is a bright young girl who gets send to boarding school where she is being forced to learn the Swedish language and is being used as subject for medical tests. She is caught between her roots and the modern Swedish world. As she is confronted with the racism towards the Sami she want to break out and become accepted and normal. Unfortunately this is still a taboo, which means that she has to leave everything she knows behind and start over in the though modern world with its own social barriers. It creates a painful picture about the conflicting ideas of our modern world. How the misunderstanding of its wisdom breaks a culture like the Sami in which people have lived for centuries in peace with nature. Nowadays there are hardly any true Sami left in Sweden, and with this loss a lot of knowledge disappears. This off course is not new as many small indigenous cultures are fading. The question that appears is if we can even still stop this.
Amanda Kernell is half Swedish half Sami and has created the film based on the stories she grew up with. The film is not intended as educational but more as a tribute to Sweden its history that may never go lost. The film plays this week on the International Film Festival in Rotterdam. If you can go and see it because it are stories like these that should be shared.