Monday, June 28, 2010

7 Songs from the Tundra

The netflix blurb calls this is a documentary, and parts may be, but they are artfully put together to tell the magical story of the Nenet people, a nomadic tribe from northern Russia. Directed by Anastasia Lapsui and her husband Markku Lehmuskallio, the actors were all Nenets. Lapsui also is a Nenet who now lives in Finland.

The Nenets are reindeer herders. The make their clothes and tents (Chums) from reindeer skin. In the 2002 census, they numbered 41,302. This film won the Best Film at the 2001 Jussi Awards in Finland.

I admit that I kept falling asleep while watching this, but that was from my own exhaustion, not due to the film which is amazing and magical. I might buy it. My favorite section or song was "Syako", about a little girl taken from her Nenet family and forced to attend a conventional school(back in the 50's I think).

Another movie by Lapsui, A Bride of Seventh Heaven, which I havent seen, apparently was inspired by an incident in Lapsui's childhood when she was taken away to a boarding school. She hid under a table and was dragged out and the next morning she went blind. Eventually she was sent home and spent her time listening to the stories of the people of her tribe. Two years later her sight returned. Many years later she told the stories of her tribe in film. And I have to wonder if "Syako" also arose out of that childhood experience.

I learned about this movie from Alek's blog (I think). No link. She has closed the blog. I forgot to notate where I found the photo. So sorry. I couldn't find it again either.

PS to those who asked, I don't personally know the woman who donated money to the hospital in Mom's name (see previous post). However, the woman who wrote to me told me this persons name and address so I might send a thank you.


soulbrush said...

don't you just love the age and experience shining through these wonderful faces? i do.

willow said...

I need to add this one to my list!

Robin said...

Suki, I will add this to my Netflix queue too.... we share a love for the Northern things...

I love how you have explained what this film is all about.... can't wait to see it!


♥ Robin ♥

Kim said...

You are wonderful for this great film suggestions, Suki. I rented Seraphine on your suggestion and now it is on my wishlist! Now this film sounds like another one I will truly love. Thank you so much, Suki!

kj said...

ah, suki, you are a good film critic.