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Review: ‘Sami Blood’ Is a Coming-Of-Age Story Unlike Any You’ve Seen Before

Review: ‘Sami Blood’ Is a Coming-Of-Age Story Unlike Any You’ve Seen Before

“My dad is dead. My mom has reindeer.” In many respects, 14-year-old Elle-Marja (magnetic newcomer Lene Cecilia Sparrok) is a lot like the typical kid at the heart of any coming-of-age story. Snagged between the smallness of her upbringing and the allure of the outside world, she’s hardly the first teenager who’s been forced to navigate a new identity for herself, to forge an uncertain path between where she’s from and where she’s going.

In other respects, Elle-Marja is quite unlike any other character the genre has ever seen before. Well, in one respect at least: She belongs to the Sami, a nomadic Scandinavian people who have been discriminated against for centuries, and whose fragile culture (and native land) has only become more of a target as it’s grown more vulnerable to erasure.

The remote Sami boarding school that she and her younger sister (Mia Erika Sparrok

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