A film by Markku Lehmuskallio, Johannes Lehmuskallio
2020, 86 minutes
No. 310

Anerca is a film about the breathing amongst the indigenous peoples of the Arctic. There are two types of breathing, life-sustaining breath and that which expresses existence. Co-directed with his son Johannes Lehmuskallio, Markku Lehmuskallio composes a fascinating poetic ethnography inspired by the singing, dancing, forms of contemporary existence and, above all, the vital breath of these nomad communities mistreated by History.

The film is about indigenous cultures living in the Arctic Circle within the borders of the states of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Greenland (Denmark), Canada, Alaska (United States) 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 intact, at least until now.

In Inuit, the word meaning to bring forth a poem is the same as the word to breathe. The word is a derivative of Anerca. Anerca means soul, breath of life. When the breathing of a person, community, or people brings forth the joy or pain of their existence, it reveals something that is separate from day-to-day life, or deep down within it, and is important to the person who breathes, it is the breath of life. In the film Anerca, Arctic peoples breathe.

Official Selection, São Paulo International Film Festival
Official Selection, Vancouver International Film Festival
Official Selection, Helsinki International Film Festival
Official Selection, Reykjavik International Film Festival
Official Selection, Visions du Réel

"Presenting a panoramic view of the numerous Indigenous peoples of the Arctic Circle, each with their own daily customs, habits, histories and struggles, the father-son filmmaking team of Markku and Johannes Lehmuskallio adopt an array of visual styles as diverse and complex as their subjects." - Wendy Ide, Screen Daily