Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet)

Bringing together researchers, practitioners and policy makers working with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland

Film Series: Anerca, Breath of Life

This April, we’re marking English Language Day with a documentary that celebrates indigenous languages and cultures of the peoples in the Arctic Circle. Join us in watching Anerca, Breath of Life, which will be followed up by a live virtual conversation on Wednesday, 21 April, from 6pm BST. Free, registration required.

Watch the film here. Add the promo code ‘GRAMNet‘ at checkout to access the film for free.

Register for the live discussion on Zoom here. By registering, you will receive the link to join us on the day.

Anerca, Breath of Life

Documentary: Finland (2020) | Directors: Johannes Lehmuskallio and Markku Lehmuskallio

Running time: 87 mins | Languages: Finnish, Swedish, Sámi, Tlingit, Yupik, Inuit, Nenets, Selkup, Chukchi with English subtitles

Anerca is a film about the breathing amongst the indigenous peoples of the Arctic Circle within the borders of the states of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Greenland, Canada, Alaska and Russia. The cultures themselves did not draw up these borders. Rights have been violated. Ways of life inherited from ancestors have largely been crushed, but the inner worldview of the people has withstood and remained, at least until now.

Director Markku Lehmuskallio has had long connections to the indigenous peoples of the North and has been making films about their lives, art and music since 1970s. Lehmuskallio created contacts to the Sami people in the 1970s, worked on a documentary film about indigenous art with the Canadian Inuits and Greenland indigenous peoples in the 1980s. In 1990s he went to Soviet Union to work on his next film and met his future partner Anastasia Lapsui, a Nenets indigenous person. Lehmuskallio has lived 5 years in the Russian tundra with the nomad people. Lehmuskallio and Lapsui have made several documentary and narrative films together. He has seen how the cultures are withering in the changes of time, but also with this film aims through a cinematic means of expression show time to time the joys and pains of those depicted through image, sound and editing.


A film by a father and his son, a history of conquests and land exploitation we never heard of. A film where ethnography is looking for a new mesmerizing language, giving us the complexity of reality.

This screening is presented in partnership with Multilingual Matters.

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This entry was posted on April 14, 2021 by in Film Series and tagged , , , .
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