• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:05/17/2023

Let the River Flow

Ella Marie Haetta Isaksen. Photo: Mer Film

In 1978, young teacher Ester Isaksen (Ella Marie Haetta Isaksen), who’s denying her Sami roots, becomes drawn into a struggle over the Norwegian government’s plans to build a dam on Sami land. It may be somewhat conventional, and the full extent of the conflict (which took place over many years) isn’t covered, but this reality-based drama still resonates, focusing on the symbolism of a young character who’s torn between her indigenous roots and a desire to belong to the ”normal” majority. The shame and anger that’s part of the dilemma, even today, is credibly and movingly conveyed by Isaksen and director Ole Giaever.


2023-Norway-Finland. 118 min. Color. Produced by Maria Ekerhovd. Written and directed by Ole Giaever. Cast: Ella Marie Haetta Isaksen (Ester Isaksen), Gard Elvenes (Mihkkal), Sofia Jannok (Risten Labba), Beaska Niillas, Marie Kvernmo, Hanne Mathisen Haga.

Trivia: Original title: Ellos eatnu – la elva leve

Last word: “I could not have dreamed of a better way to debut as an actor, since this story means so much to me. During the filming period we listened, learned, talked with, and came close to many who fought in the 70s and 80s. As an indigenous and environment activist myself, I have always looked up to the Alta activists and it is with huge respect that I have taken part in this project.” (Isaksen, Tromsø International Film Festival)


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