Suodji is an adaptation of an old story from Utsjoki, Sápmi, to the present. It is a legend of the director’s relative, Ovllá-Ivvár Helander, and about what he did during the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918 in Utsjoki. Ovllá-Ivvár decided to fool Death and take his fate into his own hands. Today we are facing a similar threat in the form of coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. The protagonist of the film is walking in Ovllá-Ivvár’s footsteps. But at the end, who is really who?
Marja Helander (b.1965) is a Finnish photographic and video artist. She graduated from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki in 1999. Her earlier work explored her own identity between the Finnish and the Sámi culture. Helander’s recent photographic work has focused on Northern landscape. The accent of the work is on the postcolonial topics in the Sámi area, focusing particularly on the global mining industry. The encounter between nature and mankind is not harmonious, but destructive. On the other hand, her video works are playful, exploring the contradiction between the traditional Sámi way of life and the modern society.
ImagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival, 20–25 October 2020, Toronto, Canada
More information: ImagineNative