A tableau from Amanda Kernell's "Sami Blood," screening in the Berlinale's "NATIVe" section.
Photo © Sophia Olsson
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Polar circle filmmakers at this year's Berlin Film Festival are taking a cold, hard look at the plight of the indigenous people on the front lines of climate change.In a top-down view of the planet, the NATIVe showcase features films from the icy northern latitudes of Scandinavia, Siberia, Alaska, Canada, Iceland and Greenland.The common theme is the twin threat faced by native peoples who have traditionally herded reindeer or caribou, or hunted seals and whales, before nation-states put them into permanent towns and their children into residential schools.Using old black-and-white footage, it portrays the simple life of the seminomadic Sami in summer lakeside cabins and winter block huts, their children riding reindeer and skating on frozen lakes.The other common threat for the polar circle communities is melting sea ice and the thawing of the permafrost that covers a quarter of the northern hemisphere.For local indigenous people, warming is already an existential threat, said Vyacheslav Shadrin, chief of the Council of Yukaghir Elders in Siberia's Yakutia region.
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