A reindeer-breeding Sámi girl who is exposed to the racism of the 1930's 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.
Elle, 78, doesn't like indigenous Sami people - though her first language was South Sami. Under pressure from her son, she reluctantly returns to Lapland and the Great Northern Mountain for... See full summary »
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In 1930s Lapland, the 14-year-old indigenous Sámi girl, Elle Marja, leaves the wild ancestral grounds and the family's reindeer camp to attend a remote draconian boarding school along with her younger sister, Njenna. However--as the bright rural student pursues a denied education and an opportunity, desirous of integrating herself into the modern Swedish society--a painful visit by a team of anthropologists paired by a traumatic experience will be the harsh reminders of an ever-present brutal prejudice and a deep-seated racism. Uppsala promises a bright future in the bustling metropolis, but to pass as a regular Swedish teenager, Elle Marja will have to make a greater sacrifice than just changing her name. But, can an outcast sever ties and renounce his proud lineage so easily?Written by
Background: The Sámi (often called Lapps by outsiders) peoples have occupied the northern regions of the three Nordic countries, and an adjacent part of Russia for at least the past 10,000 years. Totally around 100,000 peoples in the above mentioned geography (another 30,000 in N. America) most today live in urban settings, but traditionally and to a rural extent today they are/were either fishermen or hunter-gathers & herders (especially reindeer). They have historically undergone cultural dissolution, with Norway perhaps the most egregious, surprisingly similar to what Native North Americans underwent.
Story: We encounter an older Elle-Marja (but for sometime re-naming herself Christina) at the funeral of her deceased sister, Njenna, we then go into a flashback of her life starting as a young women who leaves her reindeer herding life to pursue a different education, and a life fraught w/danger as she tries to assimilate into a xenophobic/racist Swedish life.
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