European Parliament awards Lux Prize to Scandinavian film about racism

The 2017 Lux Prize winners. [European Parliament]

A Scandinavian co-production entitled Sámi Blood, exposing racism faced by northern Europe’s indigenous inhabitants in the 1930s, won this year’s Lux Prize awarded by the European Parliament for promoting European cinema.

“The “seventh art” was born here in Europe. Cinema is a driver of culture, values and dialogue. This edition paves the way to a successful 2018 one, in the year of European cultural heritage,” Parliament President Antonio Tajani said after announcing the winner in Strasbourg on Tuesday (14 November).

“Cultural heritage is not only made up of literature and art. It is made also of the stories we tell and the films we watch. It is the fabric of our lives,” the Italian official told MEPs.

Sámi Blood, a Swedish/Norwegian/Danish movie directed by Swedish filmmaker Amanda Kernell, tells the story of a young Sami girl who abandons her community in northern Sweden in the 1930s to pursue a different life. She returns as an old woman to attend her sister’s funeral, after a lifetime of facing racist attitudes and discrimination by Swedes.

Sami are indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting the Arctic area of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, whose traditional way of life revolved around fishing, fur trapping. and reindeer herding.

The movie premiered at the 2016 Venice film festival. It later won the top prize at the 2017 Gothenburg Film Festival, the Dragon Award Best Nordic Flim.

The two runners-up for this year’s Lux prize included BMP (Beats per minute), a French film dealing with AIDS, and Western, about German construction workers sent to work in Bulgaria.

Lux prize, introduced in 2007, was named after the unit of illuminance, “lux”, which is Latin for “light”.

“The Lux Prize is in the vanguard of promoting cinema that is MADE IN EUROPE, of our creative industry and our cultural and linguistic diversity,” Tajani said.