Movie Review: In Award-winner SAMI BLOOD, a girl will fight racism in order to survive

Movie Review: In Award-winner SAMI BLOOD, a girl will fight racism in order to survive
25 maio 12:36 2017 Imprimir

By Roger Costa

An elderly, mysteriously quiet lady reluctantly arrives at her sister’s funeral, stirring up attention. She can’t bear the memories, and escapes to the hotel; There, she listens to other guests’ unsatisfying comments on the reindeer-herding’s noise and her reaction demonstrates uncertainty as she freezes in time with a perplexed expression and eyes wide open, leading her to a meditation into the past again. Set in 1930s Sweden, the story develops around Elle Marja, the reindeer-herding Sámi girl who’s getting ready for boarding-school. At first, we see the teen as a fragile, shy and insecure girl, but once she improves her educational skills, engaging into poetry and other school’s activities, she finds her balance and maturity.

Once young, leaving the house for the first time, she wasn’t sure of her decisions and future directions, but now, seduced by Sweeden’s lifestyle, and cultivating some despise for her own Gypsy-like roots, she feels ready and determined, completely assured of what she wants. Though Elle has a strong personality and is willing to accomplish her goals, which initially is to be given the same opportunities as the other girls and to become a teacher, racism and prejudice will be hard obstacles on her way, as people stand up against her in different circumstances. She endures a series of humiliations through her adolescence, just because she belongs to a different community: she’s bullied, and eventually hurt by some insulting boys; she’s denied respect as a human being from her tutor; she’s unable to be with her love interest, as his parents won’t allow the romance.

But the same intensity seen in the old Elle Marja’s expressions, remains firm through the young one’s journey. She causes a tremendous impression with her facial language, defying the obstacles willing to battle them. Every moment when she faces the adversity, testing her limits and integrity, she fights it fiercely, remaining with the same astonished reaction. Actress Lene Cecilia Sparrok’s breakthrough performance will haunt you for days. She gives an intense representation of a young woman learning of herself, and determined to fight giants in order to survive, and simply be happy. She develops the strength, endurance and perseverance of her character, as well as the despair and suffering, with complete control, reaching devastating, unforgettable results just with a simple look. No wonder why she was named Best Actress at last year’s Toyko International Film Festival.

Award-winning Director Amanda Kernell’s coming of age story is a sensitive, shocking and brilliantly crafted demonstration of talented women’s power. While Lene shines as our heroine, director Kernell affirms her territory as an emerging filmmaker who has an incredibly detailed and mostly perfect aesthetic conceiving a remarkable debut. Her talent earned her the Best Director Debut Film Award at Venice Film Festival, and she extracts convincingly performances from the entire cast, especially the young girls at the boarding school, and Elle’s sister. The scenario is another attribute in the film, as the camera captures exhilarating images of the mountainous, icy landscape in this over-the-top feminine statement on stolen childhood, the effects of racism, the power of resilience and estranged family values.

SAMI BLOOD (A Synergetic Distribution Release. Opens Friday, June 2nd at at Landmark Sunshine Cinema, NYC.)

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