Close Up

22 January 2019: Kaisa's Enchanted Forest


Kaisa's Enchanted Forest
Katja Gauriloff, 2016, 86 min
French, Skolt Sámi, English, German & Finnish with English subtitles

"After a life of ill health, the young Swiss author Robert Crottet feels a calling to go to the Arctic and meet the people of the North. He is welcomed by the Skolt Sámi – and is mesmerized by the richness of their oral traditions, especially the unique storytelling gift of the lively matriarch Kaisa Gauriloff. After being acknowledged by the forest, he is permitted to record the stories and legends as told by Kaisa. These hypnotizing tales are illustrated with delightful storybook-style animation that intertwine with Robert’s biographical impressions as well as grim historical events around them. The war had an appalling impact on the Skolt Sámis’ lives and lands, and no matter how resilient they were, they could not salvage all of their ancient practices. Kaisa’s great-granddaughter Katja Gauriloff directs this film as a portrayal of Robert's poetic admiration of Kaisa and her enchanted world." – Berlinale

Part of Antti Alanen and Ehsan Khoshbakht's Masterpieces of Finnish Cinema season