Jeʹvida is a 2023 Finnish Skolt Sámi–language drama film written and directed by Katja Gauriloff.[1] The film describes the life of a Skolt Sámi woman called Jeʹvida during the period when her people were being forcibly assimilated into Finnish society,[2][3] while following the life of Jeʹvida in three different periods.[4][5]

Finnish film poster
Directed byKatja Gauriloff
Written byKatja Gauriloff
Niillas Holmberg
Produced byJoonas Berghäll
Satu Majava
Anna Nuru
StarringAgafia Niemenmaa
Heidi U'lljan Gauriloff
Sanna-Kaisa Palo
CinematographyTuomo Hutri
Edited byTimo Peltola
Music byLau Nau
Distributed byFuture Film (Finland)
Release dates
  • 9 June 2023 (2023-06-09) (Tribeca Festival)
  • 13 September 2023 (2023-09-13) (TIFF)
  • 20 October 2023 (2023-10-20) (Finland)
Running time
103 min
LanguagesSkolt Sámi[1]

Background edit

Jeʹvida is the first feature film shot in the Skolt Sámi language.[6] It received monetary support from the International Sámi Film Institute and the Finnish Film Foundation in 2021.[7][8]

In the film, Gauriloff depicts the discrimination and forced assimilation the Skolts experienced and the resulting mental trauma that still affects them.[3][5][6] The director, herself of Skolt background, had similar experiences in her childhood.[5]

Plot summary edit

A chain-smoking elderly Iida (Sanna-Kaisa Palo [fi]) and her relative Sanna (Seidi Haarla) drive to Lapland to look at an inherited family house, with the intention of cleaning it up to prepare the house for sale. After arriving at the location, the house and its surroundings start to evoke painful memories in Iida, who has experienced mistreatment and forced assimilation into Finnish culture due to her being Sámi. Iida's mind dives deeper into the secrets of the past and she rediscovers her true self, Jeʹvida.[9]

Cast edit

  • Agafia Niemenmaa as young Jeʹvida
  • Heidi Uʹlljan Gauriloff as the young adult Jeʹvida/Iida
  • Sanna-Kaisa Palo as the older Jeʹvida/Iida
  • Heini Wesslin as Jeʹvida's mother
  • Erkki Gauriloff as Jeʹvida's grandfather
  • Matleena Fofonoff as Jeʹvida's grandmother
  • Jarkko Lahti as the teacher
  • Seidi Haarla as Sanna


Reception edit

The film had its world premiere in June 2023 at the Tribeca Festival in New York.[9][10][4][11][12] The film was also shown at the Toronto Film Festival in September of the same year.[13] It was one of three Sámi films present at the festival.[14]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 83% of 6 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.10/10.[15]

Aki Lehti from Muropaketti [fi] gives the film a rating of 4½ stars out of 5, saying that the film is a "sadly beautiful and touching work of art, a really necessary film about a silent subject."[16] Niina Oisalo of Film-O-Holic [fi] gives 4 stars out of 5, describing the film as "a skillfully executed magical realist drama", adding that "the film's breathy, natural rhythm brings out the bonds that unite generations without unnecessary explanation."[17] Niko Ikonen from Episodi [fi] gives the film 3 stars out of 5, comparing the film's subject to the 2016 Swedish film Sami Blood, saying that "unfortunately, Jeʹvida doesn't really get its message across, and the film's script does not support the weight of such a heavy and multifaceted subject."[18]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Schroeder, Kira. "Je'vida" (in Finnish). Rakkautta & Anarkiaa. Retrieved 20 October 2023.
  2. ^ "Je'vida, the first Skolt Sámi feature film, to premiere in Tribeca". Finnish Film Foundation. 19 April 2023. Retrieved 24 October 2023. Directed by Katja Gauriloff, the film sheds light on the meaning of culture, language and memories, and above all, on the community of the Skolt Sámi in the era of forced assimilation.
  3. ^ a b Tynkkynen, Jyri (9 October 2023). "Ensimmäinen kokopitkä kolttasaamelainen elokuva Je'vida saa pian Suomen ensi-iltansa – ohjaaja odottaa palautetta jännittyneenä". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). Retrieved 31 October 2023.
  4. ^ a b c "Koltansaamenkielinen fiktioelokuva Je'vida hurmasi yleisönsä mutta ei voittanut Tribecan elokuvafestivaalilla". Yle (in Finnish). 16 June 2023. Retrieved 20 October 2023.
  5. ^ a b c Heikkinen, Mikko-Pekka (19 October 2023). "Ohjaaja Katja Gauriloff menetti lapsena äidinkielensä, koska hänelle puhuttiin vain suomea". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 20 October 2023.
  6. ^ a b Balaga, Marta (11 September 2023). "Katja Gauriloff Makes History With 'Jeʹvida,' the First Feature Shot in the Skolt Sámi Language: 'My Mother Never Let Me Forget'". Variety. Retrieved 20 October 2023.
  7. ^ "Dieđut: Filmmat mat leat ožžon doarjaga Internašunála Sámi Filbmainstituhtas dán jagi" [Info: Films that have received support from the International Sámi Film Institute this year]. Ávvir (in Northern Sami). Vol. 14, no. 114. 25 June 2021. p. 8.
  8. ^ Kelemeny, Sara (21 October 2021). "World's first feature film in the Skolt Sámi language gets €800,000 – Director Katja Gauriloff is glad, but worried for the field". The Barents Observer.
  9. ^ a b c "Je'vida". Tribeca Festival. Retrieved 20 October 2023.
  10. ^ "Katja Gauriloffin Je'vida on valittu Toronton elokuvafestivaalille". (in Finnish). Future Film. 10 August 2023. Retrieved 20 October 2023.
  11. ^ Fofonoff, Suvi-Tuuli (20 April 2023). "Jeʹvida-fiiʹlm vueiʹvvroolin toobdâs nõõm sääʹmõutstõõzzâst da lääʹdd fiʹlmm-maaiʹlmest – fiiʹlm maaiʹlm vuõssjeäʹǩǩääž ǩieʹssmannust New Yoorkâst". Yle Säämi (in Skolt Sami). Retrieved 20 October 2023.
  12. ^ Paltto, Anni-Saara (20 April 2023). "Je'vida máilmmi vuosttas eahkedii geassemánus New Yorkas". Yle Säämi (in Northern Sami). Retrieved 20 October 2023.
  13. ^ "Huippuvuosi suomalais- ja saamelaiselokuvalle Torontossa" (in Finnish). Finnish Film Foundation. Retrieved 20 October 2023.
  14. ^ Gavrilov, Sergey (15 August 2023). "Su persovnnalaš muitalusa čájehit stuora filbmafestiválas Torontos" [Showing Her Personal Story at Large Film Festival in Toronto]. Ávvir (in Northern Sami). Vol. 16, no. 150. p. 8-9.
  15. ^ "Je'vida". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 21, 2023.
  16. ^ Lehti, Aki (11 June 2023). "Pika-arvio: Je'vida on pieni ihme ja vuoden parhaimpia kotimaisia elokuvia". Muropaketti (in Finnish). Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  17. ^ Oisalo, Niina (20 October 2023). "Je'vida". Film-O-Holic (in Finnish). Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  18. ^ Ikonen, Niko (19 October 2023). "Je'vida". Episodi (in Finnish). Retrieved 21 October 2023.

External links edit