Laura Tapiola and Radio-JusSunná / Sunná Nousuniemi in front of an old house

Laura Tapiola and Radio-JusSunná / Sunná Nousuniemi in front of an old house

2024 | Experimental Documentary Short | 19 MIN. | Northern Sámi

ÁHKUIN

With the singular Sámi oral storytelling tradition of joik at its center, ÁHKUIN is a visual and musical call-and-response between a grandmother and her descendants. Archival interviews and the joik of Maarit-áhkku (dir. Sunná Máret Nousuniemi’s grandmother) unspool as a connective thread across time, inviting the viewer through a portal into this corner of Sápmi. Here, the rhythms of time are set by the daily tasks that assured the survival of those who came before; seemingly mundane chores — carrying water from the river, setting up the sauna, boiling reindeer bone marrow — offer up gifts of memory, music, and Indigenous knowledge.

As in Indigenous communities the world over, colonization has profoundly shaped recent Sámi history through stories of loss. Drawing aesthetic inspiration from sources as diverse as duodji (Sámi handicrafts and land-based knowledge systems), the work of David Lynch, Pauliina Peodoroff’s Matriarkaatti (Matriarchy), and the environmentally focused, community-based art of Niillas Holmberg, Jenni Laiti and Outi Pieski, ÁHKUIN presents a melancholy yet playful Sámi story with lessons for a new era defined by giving and receiving.