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Opening Night
Opening Night

Let The River Flow

Ellos eatnu – La elva leve
Let The River Flow
Australian Premiere
2023 | 118 min | Drama | Norway, Finland | Director: Ole Giæver | Cast: Ella Marie Haetta Isaksen, Gard Emil, Sofia Jannok, Beaska Niillas, Marie Kvernmo | Language: Norwegian, Saami with English subtitles

Based on true events that inspired a generation of young Norwegians, writer/director Ole Giæver’s elegant, multi award-winning drama follows a young woman who is unintentionally drawn into a protest against a dam that may flood Indigenous Sámi land. 

Summer, 1979. Recently graduated, 23-year-old schoolteacher Ester (magnetic newcomer Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen) moves to the northern Norwegian town of Alta. Like many Sámi – the native people of Scandinavia – Ester is ashamed of her heritage and conceals her ethnicity to fit in. 

When her cousin Mihkkal (Gard Emil), who openly embraces his roots, takes Ester to see a riverside camp where a group is demonstrating against the government’s plan to build a hydroelectricity plant, she slowly begins to understand that the conflict is about more than environmental concerns – her very identity and culture is being challenged. Knowing what is at stake, Ester is stirred to act, placing herself and her loved ones at risk. 

A moving story about finding one’s voice, Let the River Flow powerfully depicts the events that led to a turning point in the fight for Sámi rights.

Lively and empathetic. Powerful in cause and historical depiction.
FIPRESCI Prize, Audience Award, Göteborg Film Festival 2023
Audience Award, Tromsø International Film Festival 2023
Best Feature Film, Seattle International Film Festival 2023