Pronunciation and Style Guide
ÁHKUIN, [phonetic: AH - kwin] (note: first syllable is aspirated, second syllable rhymes with the “qui” in “quick”)] [Hear the title spoken]
When writing the title, please use all caps.
Radio-JusSunná / Sunná Nousuniemi [phonetic: RAHD-ee-oh jus-SUN-nah]
Guhtur Niillas Rita Duomis / Tuomas Kumpulainen [phonetic: GUH-tur NEEL-yas REE-ta TU-oh-mis]
As recommended by the International Sámi Film Institute, names of Sámi members of ÁHKUIN’S cast and crew are noted as follows: Sámi name / legal name. Wherever possible, please use both the person’s Sámi name and legal name, as noted. If using only one name, please use their Sámi name.
Community Partner / Associate Producer
Ááná Jyyrki Sáárá-Máárjá / Saara-Maria Salonen
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.
A transcendent and playful documentary journey following three generations of a Sámi family united across time via joik - a distinct Sámi oral tradition that combines song, storytelling and reciprocity.
About Reciprocity Project
Reciprocity Project is a global storytelling movement supporting Indigenous creatives telling stories of hope, made within their communities, via film, photography, and podcasts.
TRT | 19 minutes
Aspect Ratio | 16:9
Format | Digital
Audio | 5.1
Language | Northern Sámi
Location | ÁHKUIN was filmed in Gáregasnjárga, a Sámi village where three rivers meet — Anárjohka, Gáregasjohka and Basijohka. Gáregasnjárga is at the border of what is now Finland and Norway.
Radio-JusSunná / Sunná Nousuniemi (they/them) is a queer Sámi and Finnish audiovisual artist and storyteller. Their debut short documentary Boso mu ruovttoluotta - Breathe Me Back to Life received the Best Short Film Award at Nuuk International Film Festival and The Moving People and Images Award at the Love & Anarchy Film Festival in 2022.
Guhtur Niillas Rita Duomis / Tuomas Kumpulainen is a Sámi artist and storyteller based in Guhtur, Sápmi. Kumpulainen tells stories in various forms, including theatre, singing, songwriting, composing, directing and acting. Currently he is studying traditional Sámi handicrafts, specializing in burl, reindeer antler and bone as the main materials.
Working on ÁHKUIN over the course of a year has given me the chance to experience the joy of returning to my ancestral lands in Gáregasnjárga. It’s been a whimsical, nostalgic journey filled with lessons. From the beginning, I knew this is not about making a film; rather it’s about nurturing relations and collaborating with the land, to see what it’s willing to share with me and our film crew. My father has been writing stories about our ancestral lands and its people for years, while my cousin Laura has been reviving our family joiks - which could also be described as family songs - and these elements have been at the heart of creating ÁHKUIN.
ÁHKUIN is a love letter to my ancestral lands and to my late grandmother Niillasaš-Jovnna Máret, who was the eldest sibling in her family and became the caretaker of her family in her twenties after WW2. Working with this story has been like continuously finding hidden treasures: I feel so grateful to all my relatives and people from the community sharing their knowledge and memories with me. In this film we have used an interview that my father did with my grandmother in 2003 - 20 years ago. In 2024, it will be 100 years since my grandmother was born. One could say this film is like a portal to a dream world where three different generations from our family tree encounter one another.
About Reciprocity Project
In Season Two of this multimedia project, storytellers and community partners created films in response to a question: What does a 'return' to land, language, and reciprocal relationships mean to you and your community? Facing a climate crisis, the Reciprocity Project embraces Indigenous value systems that have bolstered communities since time immemorial. Reciprocity Project invites global Indigenous filmmakers to center Indigenous perspectives about the reciprocal relationship between all beings — seen and unseen — and the lands we inhabit.
Nia Tero is a US-based non-profit working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and movements worldwide with a mission of securing Indigenous guardianship of vital ecosystems. Nia Tero is committed to an antiracist and inclusive culture centering Indigenous rights, wisdom, practices, worldviews, and protocols.
Upstander Project is a Boston-based non-profit that uses storytelling to amplify silenced narratives, develop upstander skills to challenge systemic injustice, and nurture compassionate, courageous relationships that honor the interconnection of all beings and the Earth. Upstander Project envisions a world rooted in responsibility and respect for all where upstanders confront injustice and repair harm to ensure all beings thrive together.
REI Co-op Studios develops and produces stories that entertain, enrich and explore the power of time spent outside, while complementing the co-op’s broader climate and racial equity, diversity, and inclusion commitments.
For Series Credits please see the Season Two Press Kit
Zipped downloadable full press kit with photos will be available soon.
Laura Tapiola and Director Radio-JusSunná / Sunná Nousuniemi in front of an old house - ÁHKUIN
Radio-JusSunná / Sunná Nousuniemi floating on an inflatable flamingo
A painting of Sunna's grandmother tied on a tree with ribbons
Laura Tapiola and Director Radio-JusSunná / Sunná Nousuniemi sit and blow bubbles
Director Radio-JusSunná / Sunná Nousuniemi standing on a forested hillside
ÁHKUIN Director Radio-JusSunná / Sunná Nousuniemi
ÁHKUIN Community Partner and Associate Producer Ááná Jyyrki Sáárá-Máárjá / Saara-Maria Salonen
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