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The 2021 Sámi Film Festival: Eatnameamet – Our Silent Struggle

October 30, 2021—3:00 pm5:00 pm

This October, the 4th Annual Sámi Film Festival explores Sámi values, visions, and stories through film in a must-see hybrid event taking place both in-personal and virtually! Presented as a partnership between Scandinavia House, National Nordic Museum, and the Pacific Sámi Searvi in Seattle from October 28-31, the program will include a variety of contemporary Sámi documentaries, short films, and panel discussions with the filmmakers. 

Screening at Scandinavia House on October 30 at 3 PM, the feature film Eatnameamet – Our Silent Struggle will be presented with the short film Emma Elliane – Atte Munnje Sani Saji /Just Give Me the Word

The documentary Eatnameamet – Our Silent Struggle (dir. Suvi West; Finland, 2021) explores multiple colonial acts done by the State of Finland towards the Sámi people and as well as the government’s attitude towards the Sámi. Filmmaker Suvi West looks at how these injustices are part of a bigger question about the ownership of the land, unraveling a tangle of questions from seemingly superficial cultural appropriation to moments deciding the fate of the entire people. (74 min.)

Preceding the feature film and filmed in the Sámi community of Guovdageaidnu, the short music film Emma Elliane – Atte Munnje Sani Saji /Just Give Me the Word (dir. Sara Margrethe Oskal; 2017) is a performance by young Sámi artist Emma Elliane rapping in her mother tongue with a clear message to the greediness that threatens nature and people all around the world. 

Both films are also available for Virtual Screening from Thursday, October 28 through Sunday, October 31; get passes here. The feature film will follow the 1 PM presentation of Short Films featuring seven short films by Sámi filmmakers. A panel discussion will also take place; check back here for more details closer to the date.

Tickets to the in-person screening must be purchased in advance online at the link above; film screenings will take place in Victor Borge Hall. All attendees are required to present proof of vaccination upon arrival in compliance with New York State government; read more here. Attendees are required to follow all Scandinavia House safety protocols, including wearing masks during the program and observing social distancing rules in signage. Please read our full safety protocols here.

Virtual tickets will be available from Thursday, October 28 through Sunday, October 31, with all films available for viewing on a virtual cinema screening platform throughout this period. To download viewing instructions and an FAQ, please click here.

Support has been provided by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York and The Consulate General of Sweden in New York, with institutional support provided by the Pacific Sámi Searvi and International Sámi Film Institute.

About the Director & Performer

Sara Margrethe Oskal started out as an actress and holds a PhD in performing Arts from Oslo National Academy of Arts, Norway, doing research in “Sami humor and jester tradition in yoik, storytelling and contemporary stage expressions”. She is also an experienced screenwriter and poet and her literature is translated into multiple languages. In 2015 she made her debut as a film director with the short film Guovssahas oaidná du – Aurora Keeps an Eye on You, which was screened in several prestigious international film festivals. Her second film Beaivvi Nieida – Daughter of the Sun was previously screened at the Sami Film Festival.

Emma Elliane is an Indigenous Sámi artist from Guovdageaidnu, North Norway. Growing up with traditional Sámi music and joik, she joiks while also using traditional elements in her own contemporary music, with lyrics in her mothertunge. After releasing her debut album Dovddut Eai Gielis/Feelings Don´t Lie she has been performing in both Sámi and International festivals.

Finnish director Suvi West didn’t just want to tell the story of the mistreatment of Sámi people in Finland – she felt the need to tell it, she explained to Business Doc Europe. “I felt like I didn’t have any other choice,” she underlines of her film selected for Nordisk Panorama Documentary Competition. “This film started five years ago. The political climate had gotten so hostile, there were a lot of decisions being made that threatened the Sámi culture and Sámi societies,” she explains. In fact, she was meant to be working on another project but abandoned that to make Eatnameamet“I wanted to bring knowledge to people so they could understand the situation more,” West explains. “In the Finnish school system, they aren’t teaching about Sámi people, they don’t want to deal with the history.” West calls Eatnameamet her “most openly political film”; it examines the complicated history and current relations between the Finnish government and the indigenous Sámi people. The documentary doesn’t only look at historical, colonialist wrongs over hundreds of years, but also examines troublesome events taking place today, including the Finnish government working on a new law regarding the Sámi Parliament.


The 3rd Annual Sámi Film Festival is presented a partnership with The National Nordic Museum in Seattle.


Support has been provided by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York and The Consulate General of Sweden in New York, with institutional support provided by the Pacific Sámi Searvi and International Sámi Film Institute.


October 30, 2021
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm