Suvi West’s multidimensional documentary is a collective cry of alarm for the rights of the Sámi people. In the Nordic countries we are accustomed to expressing anti-colonialist statements from the comfort of our armchairs. Suvi West’s documentary makes our smoothies choke in our throats: we are colonialists, too. And, like William Faulkner, we come to realize that ”The past is never dead. It’s not even past”.
Although it seems that the Arctic Railway will not materialize, many other projects are an existential threat to the Sámi, one of Europe’s ultra-rare indigenous peoples. Get-rich-quick schemes in the mining industry can destroy Lapland’s environment forever. Land rights, language rights, and threats to cultural integrity are among Suvi West’s themes. Suvi West (Doavtter-Piera Suvi Máret), a protector of the sacred sources of the Sámi people, has directed the film with her photographer Anssi Kömi.
Eatnameamet (the name means “Our Land”) discusses a people whose language lacks the word “property”. West leads us to the sore points of unhealed trauma. The work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a cry into the wind. But the wind turns and the cry rings out louder than ever.