From the film ”Sami Blood”
VÄSTERBOTTEN. The young Sami-Swedish movie director Amanda Kernell´s first feature film Sami Blood (Sameblod) has gone from strength to strength. This weekend on Friday March 3rd the richly awarded film will have its cinema premiere in Sweden.
After gaining international acclaim at a number of festivals, the 110-minute long movie was recently rewarded with Göteborg Film Festival´s finest trophy, Dragon Award Best Nordic Film and one million SEK in prize money. – An impressive debut, the jury in Gothenburg said about the movie.
Sami Blood also won the Sven Nykvist Cinematography Award for best photography by Sophia Olsson.
So far the film has been nothing short of a success. What ever happens now, the cinema audiences of Kernell´s old stomping ground up north Sweden, must be waiting in anticipation for this tale to unfold at close-by venues for its home premiere on Friday this week.
At the world premiere in Venice in September, the director won the award for Best young director and the film itself was voted the Best European Movie. In Tokyo in November it received the Special Jury Prize while the award for Best Actress went to Lene Cecilia Sparrok who stars as teenager Elle-Marja.
Kernell, born in 1986, has both written and directed the film. The story revolves around the an old Sami woman´s homecoming and how she back in the 1930s, at age fourteen, decided to repudiate her Sami background for an urban life down south in Uppsala. The reasons for her departure were the degrading and the race biology examinations that her people had to endure. Giving up her family and culture while trying to live as a regular Swede, looked at the time a better option than the struggling life of a reindeer herder.
Sami Blood mirrors the vital topics of roots, language and identity – and all that against the backdrop of a shameful period in Swedish history when racism and colonisation of the Sami lands were the order of the day.
Director Amanda Kernell
– Most important to me personally was how it felt. I mean, what happens when one knows that you´re considered to be an underdeveloped human being? How do you transform abstractions like sense of shame and the colonisation of the mind to concrete images? Those are the things I´ve been mulling over, Amanda Kernell told Sweden´s largest morning paper Dagens Nyheter in September.
The movie maker learned her tools of the trade mainly in Denmark and now lives in Copenhagen. But she grew up in Umeå, county of Västerbotten – and the film was partly shot in the neighbouring Sapmi heartland of Tärnaby-Hemavan. The actors in the film are a mix of pro´s and amateurs, many of them with Sami roots. The young girl Elle-Marja´s sister Njenna is played by her sister in real life, Mia Sparrok and the old Ella-Marja by Maj-Doris Rimpi.
Sameblod is based on the short film Stoerrie Vaerie (Northern Great Mountain) that Kernell released in 2015. She has been involved in several short movie projects since her early twenties and also worked as a film pedagogue.
The movie is a co-production between Sweden, Norway, Sapmi and Denmark with Lars G Lindström as the producer. The photographers are Sophia Olsson and Petrus Sjövik and the original music for the film was made by Kristian Eidnes Andersen.