On the Spring Ice

A film by Leonard Kamerling, Sarah Elder,
Country: USA,
Duration: 45min,
Language: Siberian Yup’ik,
Subtitles: English,
Year: 1975

Elder Lloyd Oovie, from the village of Gambell, St. Lawrence Island, recounts the mysteries of sea ice, “Long ago, people were drifted by the pack ice. It took them far away and they were never seen again.  Nothing is too big for the ice to move.  When seen for the first time, it is a mysterious thing to watch”.  A cluster of men stands on a rooftop scanning the sea.  A walrus hunting party is in distress far out on the ice.  The weather is bad and they are being drifted towards Siberia. Long ago, there was nothing that could have been done to save them.  Now they have options.  The men discuss the situation and finally decide to call the Coast Guard.  A rescue helicopter is dispatched from Kodiak, 650 miles away.  The next day, the men prepare for another walrus hunt.  They travel through leads in the pack ice where they spot two walrus sunning themselves on the ice.  Back in the village, the meat is cut, distributed, and hung to dry.
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Uksuum Cauyai: The Drums of Winter

A film by Leonard Kamerling, Sarah Elder,
Country: USA,
Duration: 90min,
LanguageYup’ik, English,
Subtitles: English,
Year: 1988

Dance was once at the heart of Yup’ik spiritual, social, and economic life. It was the bridge between the ancient and the present, the living and the dead and a person’s own power and the greater powers of the unseen world. Uksuum Cauyai: The Drums of Winter, presents the spiritual world of Yup’ik dance, music, and reciprocal gift-giving. The Yup’ik people speak about how their history, social values, and spiritual beliefs are woven around the songs and dances that have been handed down to them through the generations.  Named to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2006.

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Out of the Corner

A film by Maria Kirpichenko,
Country: Russia,
Duration: 27min,
Language: Russian,
Subtitles: English,
Year: 2012

The film gives the opportunity to see several women from Russia who are engaged in boxing on the highest level of the National Women’s Boxing Team. We follow them in different places and tasks and become acquainted with their strong personalities. Women’s boxing and “traditional” Russian society seem to oppose each other but when we get closer stereotypes gradually vanish, though they remain at the formal (state) level. Main heroes of the film: Anastasia Zapolskaya (Makarova), Serafima Makarova, Lubov Pashina. The action takes place in Karelia (North of Russia), Krasnoarmeisk (boxing training camp near Moscow), Novosibirsk (Russia Women’s Boxing Championship, Siberia), Anapa (boxing training camp, South of Russia). The film is not about boxing itself but about women who dared to enter the “male domain” (going out of the corner) and still try to fit into the traditional gender roles (putting them(selves) into boxes).

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Uncle Oddvar and the Wave

A film by Katriina Pedersen,
Country: Norway,
Duration: 32min,
Language: Norwegian,
Subtitles: English,
Year: 2011

Uncle Oddvar and The Wave is a character-driven film about a soon to be a 70-year-old fisherman from a little village in the north of Norway. Every spring and summer he produces stockfish for a global market as one of the last ones in the village. We follow uncle Oddvar and his stockfish from April to September and get a glimpse into the life of a fisherman. Through uncle Oddvar’s stories and songs, the film brings up themes of traditional knowledge, aging, fish farming, the outside world, and the environment.

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We Can Almost Fly

A film by Maria Gradin,
Country: Norway,
Duration: 28min,
Language: Norwegian,
Subtitles: English,
Year: 2006

The film is a study of the concept of New Circus through a circus group in Tromsø (Norway), Circus Kulta. It consists of children, youth, and a group of professional New Circus performers. In the film, we can follow them from personal challengers to mastering and from practicing to performances.

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Yerv of the Tundra

A film by Zoia Ravna,
Country: Russia,
Duration: 32min,
Language: Norwegian,
Subtitles: English,
Year: 2002

Somebody is born to follow the wind—somebody to fight. A group of Nenets reindeer herders once decided to opt-out from the collective system. Do they manage to do it? How? This is the history of the organisation of private reindeer owners “Yerv”, their life and struggle in the difficult natural and social conditions of the Russian Arctic.

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