Lee News

Indigenous Film Festival to Begin September 11


Lee University will host the Indigenous Film Festival Series beginning Wednesday, Sept. 11, with a showing of “Sámi Blood,” an award-winning film about a reindeer-breeding Sámi girl named Christina who is exposed to the racism of the 1930s at her boarding school.

While at school, Christina dreams of another life that calls her to break all ties with her family and culture. According to critics, “‘Sami Blood’ tells a very familiar story, but the hyper-specificity of its telling renders it a wholly new and quietly profound experience.”

“Sámi Blood” won top prize at the 2017 Göteborg Film Festival, the Dragon Award Best Nordic Film, and the Human Values Award at the 57th Thessaloniki International Film Festival. It took second prize at Tokyo International Film Festival, received the Fedora Award for Best Young Director and Europa Cinemas Label for best European film, and the Valhalla Award for best Nordic Film and Lux Prize.

The film’s cinematographer, Sophia Olsson, won the Sven Nykvist Cinematography, and Lene Cecilia Sparrok won the best actress award at Tokyo International Film Festival.

In October, the festival will continue with “Embrace the Serpent” on Wednesday, Oct. 9. This film follows two journeys made 30 years apart by indigenous shaman Karamakate in Columbian Amazonian jungle. On Wednesday, Oct. 23, Lee will present “Ixcanul,” a story about María, a 17-year-old Mayan girl who lives on the slopes of an active volcano in Guatemala.

The Film Festival will conclude with “Charlie’s Country” on Wednesday, Nov. 6. The film follows Charlie, a past warrior who now lives in a remote Aboriginal community in the northern part of Australia.

“These films are technically beautiful, but because they are made by marginalized people, they show a side of life that is both compelling and convicting,” said Dr. Murl Dirksen, professor of anthropology and sociology at Lee. “It is difficult to watch these films without gaining a deeper understanding of another culture and the pain of exclusion.”

All showings will take place from 8-10 p.m. in the Screening Room of Lee’s Communication Arts Building. The films are free of admission and open to the public.

For more information on the Indigenous Film Festival, contact Dirksen at mdirksen@leeuniversity.edu.

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