How can groups and individuals stay true to their origins in today’s world? Can film increase pride in culture and awareness of others?

These questions and many more are discussed in two native language films and a panel discussion on Indigenous cultures at this year’s Cinemaissi. Both films, Retablo and Pájaros de Verano, represent their own stories with an interesting plot and multi-faceted personas. The two films stay true to the people and stories without focusing solely on the exotism of the ethnic groups.

The festival will open on Wednesday 23 October with a Peruvian film Retablo (Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio), a brilliant visual narrative that speaks to us in Quechuan language. Retablo is a film about the love that a son professes for his father, despite of the truth and of a devastating internal conflict.  The film has won +20 awards in renowned international film festivals, such as Berlinare, La Habana and New York.

On Sunday 27 October we will host a panel Indigenous cultures with some of the greatest advocates of indigenous culture. The discussion will focus on examining the representation of indigenous communities in cinema and the role of films in preservation of languages and traditions. The perspectives will range from the Finnish point of view to the Latin American, revealing the similarities and differences of indigenous peoples as part of societies across the world. The film Retablo will be shown after the panel discussion at 18.00 at the same location, in Kulttuurikeskus Caisa.

Cinemaissí will close with Pájaros de Verano (Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra), a story narrated in the Wayuu language about the honour of two clans that are fighting against the inevitable destruction of their values and traditions due to money, corruption and power. The closing film Pájaros de Verano will show on Sunday 27 October at 20.00 in Orion.

The new perspectives are reflected in our artistic director Carlos Marroquín words: “It seems like Latin American cinema is taking distance from politicians and governments to manifest the inequality, the injustice and the corruption through the eyes of those who suffer the most because of them.”

Text: Pauliina Alanen

International Year of Indigenous Languages

Languages around the world are disappearing at an alarming rate. That is why the UN has declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages. IYIL’s mission is to raise awareness of indigenous languages to benefit the people who speak and keep these languages alive, and also highlight their contribution to our world’s cultural diversity.