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SEVEN SONGS FROM THE TUNDRA

Finland, 2000 (MIFF 2000, International Panorama)

Director: Anastasia Lapsui, Markku Lehmuskallio

Take a journey to the top of the world. Seven Songs from the Tundra is an anthology of tales set in far north Russia, depicting the life of the Nenets. Ranging in time from early last century through to modern times, the various tales offer us a glimpse into a world rarely seen.

The Nenets, who have no theatre or professional actors, lend the film a natural, unforced presence. It is the first feature film in the Nenets' language, and the screenplay was also written by a native Nenets. Mixing political stories—Soviet communism's effect on the Nenets— with more humanist tales—a young couple elopes, after the bride is supposed to marry a rich man chosen by her mother—the film powerfully conveys the gradual destruction of an ageold lifestyle. Evocatively shot with stunning imagery, Seven Songs from the Tundra is a fascinating, strangely beautiful film.

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