Commentaries

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

SAMI BLOOD



PREJUDICE BY ANY OTHER NAME

Film Review by Fiore


I am constantly amazed at the vicious prejudice exhibited by Europeans and Asians in Independent films.  It’s a favorite ploy of the H3L to condemn America’s majority population of cruel prejudice, especially between races; but many of those charges pale in comparison to the prejudice our so-called enlightened neighbors over the pond demonstrate.

The latest film to put this abhorrent behavior on display is SAMI BLOOD.  It demonstrates the hatred between Swedes and Lapps.  It is a bit disconcerting, because Sweden has a reputation, most likely erroneous, of being a bastion of an all-loving, tolerant nation; one exemplifying the Kumbaya attitude sought by the progressive left.
SAMI BLOOD is winning over audiences at numerous film festivals, whose judges seem to thrive on themes of this ilk, including Sundance, Berlin, Venice and TIFF.  It will open next week on the Left Coast, and be available on VOD the following week.

Amanda Kernell directed and wrote SAMI BLOOD, based on the tales of her grandmother.  It involves a young girl, Elle Marja, who, once exposed to the prejudice against her, opts for a better life by abandoning her friends, family and current lifestyle.  Center to the story is the alienation with her sister, and the eventual reconciliation of the siblings.

The movie stars Lene Cecilia Sparrok and Mia Sparrok, two real life sisters who have no acting experience and were cast in these roles primarily because they are Sami.  Also starring are Maj Doris Rimpi and Olle Sarri.

Personal tales often make interesting reading, but generally do not translate well to film.  So it is, with SAMI BLOOD.  While the conflict of racial prejudice is quickly established, there are massive gaps in the story which cause it to feel more like propaganda than narrative.   For example:  Elle Marja’s ability to stay in the boarding school, despite not having the tuition if fluffed over; and her eventual break from her family and her chosen lifestyle, are never detailed.  When reconciliation with her sister is eminent, it is never clear whether Elle Maja’s life was worth the sacrifice.

1.1        KEY SCENES TO LOOK FOR:

1.      THE VISIT TO NICKLAS’ HOUSE
2.      THE FIGHT WITH THE BOYS

There is something to be said for the strength and courage of people who opt to abandon their current status in life for a better one.  Even when racial prejudice was rampant in America, there were scores of Negroes who would not accept their status in society and strove to make a better life for themselves.  Those folks are celebrated today and established different destinies for their families.  SAMI BLOOD seems to send the message that one should be satisfied with their lot and life, and not strive to be something else.  I don’t know if I can concur with this ideology, so the film’s focal point is irrelevant for me. 

Let’s take a look at the report card for SAMI BLOOD

1.2       ACTING = D

1.3       CINEMATOGRAPHY = C

1.4      SOUND/MUSIC = D

1.5       LIGHTING = D

1.6      EDITING = D

1.7       SCRIPT = D

1.8      SFX = D

1.9      ACTION = D


SAMI BLOOD offers nothing of note technically.  Cinematography, sound, and lighting are all wanting.  This is common with Indie films, but augmented with Swedish filmmaking techniques, which are not on a Hollywood level, the presentation leaves much to be desired.  
The racial prejudice America experienced in its early days, and which was rejuvenated during the Obama Regime’s policy of division, was against two different races, with clear physical differences.  The prejudice demonstrated by the Swedes is more perplexing because there aren’t major physical differences between Swedes and Sami.  The fact Elle Marja can easily slip between the two groups is evidence.  It makes the absurdity of prejudice more highlighted and less comprehensible. 


History, anthropology students, and those who still believe the tripe Bernie Sanders spews may find SAMI BLOOD entertaining.  The rest of us, seeking a few hours of entertaining escapism, will not enjoy the film.




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