Sami Blood ★★★★

First and foremost, this is a film about a girl and her feelings, her inner and outer struggles, her body and soul, her painful healing process. Then of course, it’s about being the outsider, the one who must adapt, the urge to fit in, the longing for something else and the will and strength that it takes to break out. It’s also about fear and love, pride and prejudice, shame and conflict. Ultimately, it’s about blood and spirit. Defining people by race. Colonizing the brain.

”Sameblod” has many different layers, and never once backs down from that complexity. Sweden’s colonial oppression of the Sami people in the 1930’s is a dark chapter, yet we don’t know much about it. Here’s one way of dealing with that darkness.

I have a soft spot for really good coming-of-age tales, but the good ones are rare. It almost always comes down to the actor. In this case, Lene Cecilia Sparrock is the most talented young actress I have ever seen! She’s so real it’s almost unreal. Her facial expressions, body language, the language of feelings… I’m just blown away. The sisters are sisters in real life, and one of the most emotional scenes features their real grandmother. That kind of approach makes for some truly good filmmaking. You can feel the realness. People being people.

With a totally unsentimental, melancholic tone, amazing landscape cinematography, a deep, poetic soundtrack and superb directing by Amanda Kernell, this is the best film of the year so far. Even though it’s 110 minutes long I felt the ending was a bit stressed. There's so much more to this story. My first thought after the end credits was to get another ticket and see it all over again.