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THE LAPLANDERS

Norway, 1957 (MIFF 1962)

Director: Per Höst

In the far north of Norway, several hundred miles beyond the Arctic Circle, a vast area of mountains and roadless tundra is the home of the Laplander. Europe's last nomadic people. Theirs is a land where the midnight sun makes summer an endless day of glowing colours, while winter means continual darkness under the eerie pyrotechnics of the Aurora Borealis.

The ancestors of the Laplanders were the first to populate the Scandinavian peninsula in the glacial age more than 12,000 years ago. A total of 30.000 Laplanders have survived to this day. Less than a tenth of them still pursue the old nomadic way of life. In northern Norway, two small groups have preserved the ancient traditions of their people and remained almost untouched by modern mechanized civilization. It is remarkable to find, in today's Europe, a way of life and a culture so completely detached from the rest. That they have survived is due partly to the inaccessibility of this Arctic area and partly to the fact that the Laplanders have developed an astonishing capacity for making a living where no other people could possibly survive. Nevertheless, this is a vanishing race that obviously will not last beyond the present generation.

The film received the Council of Europa Award at the Berlin Film Festival 1957.

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