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  • I really do like Scandinavian movies and as far as I can remember, there was never a movie from Scandinavia that ever disappointed me. But this movie took me by surprise... It has been 4 days since I've seen this movie at local art-club cinema and yet I still can't stop to think about it. Something changed in my heart and even I'm a very rationale human being, it is difficult to explain why did this movie affect me so deeply. Was it the perfect written story, a subtle story that grabbed me by the soul as how real was it portrayed ? Was it the amazing cinematography of the mysterious and tranquil landscape of Lapland ? Was it the well-balanced camera shots coupled with modest yet powerful and deep soundtrack ? Was it the perfect acting of those young and innocent Saami sisters and the strong bond between them ? Whatever it was, it left me with a powerful and profound feeling inside. And if a movie is capable of achieving exactly this, then it is definitely worth watching.
  • Unique little film with some truly great performances by first-time sami actors. Going from beautiful to sad to infuriating to inspiring, this one really does it all. Can't recommend it enough.
  • Guatemalan Indigenous Leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu Tum said, "We are not myths of the past, ruins in the jungle, or zoos. We are people and we want to be respected." Unfortunately, however, Indigenous people have been the subject of racism and discrimination throughout history. Massacres, forced-march relocation, the "Indian wars", death by starvation and disease form a depressing legacy of man's inhumanity to man. Inspired by the personal experience of director Amanda Kernell's grandmother, the deeply moving Sami Blood is about what Kernell has called an "untold" story and a "dark chapter" in Swedish history. She is referring to the oppression of the indigenous Samis, also known as Lapps, an indigenous people who live in the far northern areas of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.

    Shot by cinematographers Sophia Olsson and Petrus Sjövik, the film is set in Sweden in the 1930s when the rising tide of nationalist fervor dominated Europe and led to the Nazi's embrace of Eugenics and the theory of the master race. Sami Blood opens in the present day, however, as ninety-year-old Christina (Maj Doris Rimpi) returns to Lapland with her son and granddaughter to attend the funeral of her estranged sister. Traditional yoik-singing does not prevent Christina from becoming morose and withdrawn, retreating to a hotel by herself. The film then flashes back eighty years to the time when Christina (Lene Cecilia Sparrok), then known as Elle-Marja, was a precocious 14-year-old girl living with her sister Njenna (Sparrok's own sister Mia Erika) and her recently widowed mother (Katarina Blind), engaged in reindeer herding.

    As in the US and Canada where Native children were sent to residential schools where their language, religion and cultural beliefs were often the object of ridicule, the sisters are sent to a special boarding school where they learn the hard lesson that the world regards them as lesser human beings. The Sami girls are dismissed by local Swedish teens as "circus animals" and "filthy Lapps," and are subject at school to being measured and photographed to prove a physical basis for their inferiority. While singled out for her learning ability by her deceptively supportive teacher, Christina (Hanna Alstrom, "Kingsman: The Secret Service"), Elle-Marja's inquiries about becoming a teacher meets with the reply that Sami's have small brains and are not capable of functioning outside of their own community. "Studies have shown that your people can't get by in town… you have to stay here or you'll die out," she says.

    In spite of her humiliation, Elle-Marja is able to dream of a more productive future. It is a future, however, that will cause her to turn her back on her family and her heritage, a betrayal that will mark her entire life. In one scene, Elle Marja, who is trying to pass herself off as a "normal Swede," blurts out to her sister, "Get away, you filthy Lapp." When she meets Niklas (Julius Fleischlanderl, "Young Sophie Bell") a good-looking Swedish boy from Uppsala who does not know that she is Sami, her dreams of escaping from the school begin to become real. After her mother refuses to sell a reindeer in order to pay for the education Elle-Marja requires to become a teacher, she changes her name to Christina and pursues her relationship with Niklas.

    Showing up at his upscale home, Christina untruthfully tells his mother that Niklas said that she could stay with them. In spite of their growing connection which includes staying overnight in his room, he does not defend her when his mother discovers her to be a Sami and she is asked to leave. She remains determined, however, to start a new life regardless of the barriers she faces. Though Sami Blood covers familiar ground, the pain caused by discrimination can never be routine. What elevates the film to a different level, however, is the quiet but fiercely determined performance of Lena Cecilia Sparrok as Elle-Marja/Christina. While the film is about oppression, it is not a polemic but a human document that transcends the limitations of its environment and makes a universal statement about the longing to fit in, the fear of isolation, and the conflict between the life we are born into and the one we choose for ourselves.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A sad look back at the effects of a race-obsessed culture in the form of a coming-of-age story, the Lux Prize-winning Sami Blood follows a 14-year-old girl ("Christina") belonging to a people who many outside Europe will be completely unfamiliar with: the Sami, an indigenous people in Sweden and the Nordic region. Ethnic Swedish characters, even when not taking a literal knife to Sami, treat them horribly. The Sami look white, but are regarded as less than human. They're not allowed to use Sami in private conversations at school (similar to Canada's residential schools), they're poked, prodded, and forcibly photographed naked by race scientists, despite clear discomfort, and they're told flat-out their brains are not quite developed. It becomes easy to imagine how National Socialism found a base in Sweden in the time period, as referenced in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, though it never really took off as a major movement.

    That said, it can be hard to understand Christina herself. When her teacher so blatantly looks down on her, and will never defend her, what is it that draws Christina to her so? She wants to leave Lapland- I wouldn't be happy there either- but why does she want so badly go with people who hate her? Her love interest, Niklas, shows no signs of wanting anything for her or from her but sex, and it's kind of a mystery why she keeps going back to him too. Some scenes get long and repetitive- the gymnastics scene has no real reason for being that long. Much of this is interesting, though as a coming-of-age it doesn't stand out too far from so many others.
  • A film that puts you inside this girls head. And that is it's biggest achievement. And then we're on ride with her through a very new time in her life. And it's an enjoyable ride. Beautifully casted.
  • Even for a swede as me the story and history that this film brings up took me by big surprise. And not only that the cinematography, story, acting, well just everything was a solid 10 for me!!

    And to be honest, I don't watch that many Swedish films as I usually prefer English speaking films from Britten and America. But this, this you just have to see. A true masterpiece from the writer/director Amanda Kernell and everyone else behind this piece of cinematic perfection!
  • My Swedish teacher highly recommended me this Swedish film and I had always wanted to watched it. It was played during the Vancouver International Film Festival but I just missed it. Finally, I had an opportunity to watch it. The story of Scandinavian indigenous people in this film reminds of the Salish people in Canada. The indigenous people faced huge invasion in culture, education, territory, etc. They were regarded inferior. Especially young indigenous faced self- identity crisis. They were starting to lose themselves in this modern world. Fortunately, governments start to launch cultural project to rescue indigenous culture. But it is far from enough. Films on this topic are a good ways to let the public know about indigenous culture, language, history and stories.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    One review I read before watching this movie said, "Open up to this film." That's what I did and I am glad. It is beautiful to look at and it contains a timeless tale.

    The haves vs the have-nots: one of the most ageless templates of humankind. This is a Swedish film with English subtitles. That's what's going on here in "Sami Blood." Elle Marja is an old woman reflecting on her life as a young woman who is part of the "Sami Blood" or the reindeer farming peasants. After foul treatment at "school" and discovering a general malaise in the life style she was born into, she decides to impersonate someone in the upper echelon. She is desperate, she will do anything to be part of the higher society.

    The Swedish landscapes are incredible and the hardworking director/writer Amanda Kernell makes sure they are in many scenes as background or even just filling the entire frame. These hills tell a story. In interviews she says she had to make decisions similar to this young character. Many of her culture had to decide where they would live. There is a powerful scene where the young woman demands an heirloom from her family so she can continue going to private school under a dead girl's identity. The mother is torn as to what she should do. The "low people" are like native Americans the way they live. They do need money though so this is a demand that borders on insult.

    She falls into a relationship with a young man. At first it appears as if they love each other. The cinematography of them dancing and enchanted time time together is wonderfully mesmerizing. Later though, his parents in whose home they are having their affair question her motives and they force him to turn her out. On her way out, she doesn't state her love for him, she is desperate. She only pleads, "Tell them I can work here cleaning." While a sad scene, it goes to show the invisible wall between these two castes of the Swedish countryside.

    My daughters are going to "Vid-con" in a few months. We paid for their tickets at Christmas. There, they will see "The Gabby Show" and other of their favorite Youtube stars. These rich famous people are their stars. I couldn't help but draw a parallel to the lower and upper people in this film. Maybe America hasn't come very far in its middle class. Still, I am happy my kids have tickets to something they feel excited about.

    As the film concludes, we aren't given a nicely wrapped conclusion. This is one of those films you have to make your own mind up about. For me, it is about the age=old controversy between upper and lower class. The middle class is a new thing America has produced. THrough time people have been either "Haves" or "Have-nots." Can we judge Elle Marja for wanting something better? Was this her only option? He young sister stayed faithfully with the Sami Blood. At a point near the end, at her sister's funeral, Elle Marja rips off the casket lid and her sister's weathered face is revealed. Which lived a truly happier life? This is a longer, historical period piece in a foreign language. It won't appeal to everyone. As for me, I was deeply touched. It lost one point because several scenes took longer than they should have. Beyond that, it's excellent. I give this film a 9/10.
  • 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.
  • billcr124 January 2018
    A teenage Sami girl lives in a teepee with her family raising reindeer. The Sami are an indigenous minority in Sweden. The story begins with the girl as an bitter old woman who reluctantly accompanies her son to her sister's funeral. She is bitter about her childhood at a boarding school where Sami children were taught to assimilate and were forced to abandon their culture. It is, of course, a universal story, from the Native Americans here in the United States, to the Irish under the British thumb. Unfortunately, I was bored by this film. Last year, A Man Called Ove was the Swedish entry to the Academy Awards. I believed it should have won. I cannot say the same for Sami Blood.
  • I am so glad that Amazon carries foreign films like this -- although it takes some digging to find them. The lead actress was flawless in her role as a native Lapp who is disdained by the Swedish elite. She plays this with such subtlety and dignity. I wanted to hug her and take her away from all the horrible treatment she received. The scenery is great. Hats off to the director for such a magnificent job. I always find that Nordic films are far and away better than American films. "The Hunt" was the most haunting Nordic film I've ever seen. Such a great film Thank you.
  • Amazing bravery. Some dark ominous things happen. But ultimately a story of hope and forgiving
  • Mindblowing! She couldnt have been better!! Tedious film someone said!? Wow! Well its not Taken1-3.. but still every second i couldnt think of anything else than watch!! Maaaby i would want to see that the movie was some minutes longer,to see more story.. but i get it.. its a 10!!!
  • I didn't even know about the discrimination the Sami people experienced. This was an incredibly well portrayed life of a life that could have easily gone two ways. The amount of courage and resilience we see is inspiring. The scenery is stunning and the soundtrack speaks to the soul. Highly recommend!
  • asalabdi21 April 2019
    I loved this movie! Very deep and emotional! See it!