Friday, March 09, 2018

Aktivisti / Activist

Petteri Saario: Aktivisti / Activist, a documentary film featuring Riikka Karppinen from Sodankylä, Lapland.

Petteri Saario | Finland 2017 | Documentary | 57 min
Tampere Film Festival (TFF), National Competition, Plevna 5, Friday 9 March 2018

TFF: "Activist is a modern Jeanne d’Arc story in which a determined teenager from Finnish Lapland commences a battle against one of the world’s largest mining companies. She fights for the future of her home village and for an outstanding mire protected by European Union’s nature programme. Riikka Karppinen was a 15-year-old schoolgirl when Anglo American, an international mining giant, found nickel and copper deposits under her home village in northern Finland, 120 kilometres north of the Polar Circle. The discovery was described as the most significant of the century. But the ore lies underneath Riikka’s childhood paradise, a marshland reserve that is being protected because of its exceptional biodiversity. Which one is more valuable, natural values or ore deposits that can be turned into banknotes? Is everything for sale when the bid is high enough?The film is a touching and encouraging story about a young miner’s daughter on the cusp of adulthood and her strong will to make a difference. Trying to change things is often tiring but also rewarding, opening doors to opportunities that are rarely accessible to young ones."

"Aktivisti on moderni tarina Jeanne d’Arcista, jossa päättäväinen teini Suomen Lapista ryhtyy taisteluun erästä maailman suurinta kaivosyhtiötä vastaan. Taistelussa on kyse tytön kotikylän sekä EU:n ympäristöohjelman suojeleman upean suon tulevaisuudesta. Riikka Karppinen oli 15-vuotias koululainen, kun globaali kaivosjätti Anglo American löysi nikkeliä ja kuparia hänen kotikylänsä alta Pohjois-Suomessa, 120 kilometriä napapiiriltä. Löytöä kuvailtiin vuosisadan merkittävimmäksi. Mutta malmi sijaitsee Riikan lapsuuden paratiisin alla, suojellulla marskimaalla, joka on eliöstöltään poikkeuksellisen rikas. Kumpi on tärkeämpää, luontoarvot vai malmiesiintymät, jotka voi muuttaa rahaksi? Onko kaikki kaupan, jos hinnasta vain sovitaan? Elokuva kertoo koskettavan ja rohkaisevan tarinan aikuisuuden kynnyksellä olevasta kaivostyöläisen tyttärestä ja hänen vahvasta tahdostaan vaikuttaa asioihin. Asioiden muuttaminen on usein haastavaa mutta myös palkitsevaa, ja se avaa mahdollisuuksia, joita nuorille harvoin suodaan."

AA: Petteri Saario's portrait documentary of a fighter. Riikka Karppinen is from Sodankylä where the protected marshland is being threatened by supranational mining behemoths. It has turned out that there are in Lapland perhaps the richest untapped veins of nickel and copper in Europe.

The mining companies bring their workforce from abroad. They do not pay their taxes to Finland. The technologies are ultra-effective, and perhaps in 15 years they would have mined the entire nickel and copper findings and left nothing behind except a ruined wasteland instead of the current nature paradise.

It turns out that there are three different mining projects in Sodankylä. The companies keep getting bankrupt in a few years, being taken over by new ones.

Riikka Karppinen has carried a crusade against the exploitation of nature since she was 15, sometimes against a general apathy and resignation, but never giving up. She is politically affiliated with the Green Party, and at home and at the municipality council she keeps having an argument with her father who is a leftist.

Although Karppinen is a Green activist, she has no problem in entering the military. She is a sporty type and an outdoors type. The military gives her new perspectives to life.

She also enrolls in the University of Helsinki. She comments that the distance has a reverse effect: in Helsinki she feels closer to Lapland, and her estimation of Lapland keeps growing.

The film includes a lot of enchanting and sublime footage from the nature of Lapland: Northern Lights, aerial footage of the magical mystery atmosphere of the threatened Viiankiaapa marsh, fighting wood grouses at mating time, an owl family, a bear family, forest trekking, and fishing in the Kitisenjoki river.

Sodankylä is of course the site of the international Midnight Sun Film Festival since 1986. We visit a midnight sun event arranged by the Karppinens, a Night Trek to the Viiankiaapa marsh. Let's hope they can mobilise the film folks of the world to support the great cause.

This film, this campaign and this activist are about eternal values vs. short term financial gain.


Johanna Kähäri said...

Viikinkiaapa po. Viiankiaapa, eikös?

Antti Alanen said...

Hei Johanna Kähäri, kiitos huomiosta, korjattu! Antti