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Let the River Flow film image

Let the River Flow

Ignite High School Screening

Amidst the rugged beauty of northern Norway, Ester, a young Sámi woman, tries to conceal her ethnicity at work to avoid anti-Sámi racism of 1970s Norwegian society. Meditative and character-driven, the film gradually builds as Ester reconnects with her heritage. As Ester struggles to navigate her shifting cultural identity, pulled between pride and shame, she’s drawn into her cousin Mihkkal’s defiant celebration of traditional Sámi clothing and language. Her choice to join with him and other Sámi activists protesting a major dam that would flood their traditional land, pressuring the government to recognize their rights, threatens to unravel her already fraught and frayed social fabric at home and work. By turns inspirational, incendiary, confrontational, tragic, and heartwarming, Let the River Flow challenges Norway’s legacy of racism and assimilation towards the Sámi people through a nuanced account of real events that inspired the film, distilled through the lens of Ester’s journey of self-realization and her embrace of her Indigenous roots.


Presented by


Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen, Gard Emil, Sofia Jannok, Beaska Niillas, Marie Kvernmo

Country of Origin





In Sámi and Norwegian with English subtitles

Content Warning

Self Harm

118 min

Education Guide

Curriculum Interests

The Education Guide will be available soon.

•  Social 9

•  Social 10

•  Explorations in Social Studies 11

•  Contemporary Indigenous Studies 12

•  Comparative Cultures 12

•  Genocide Studies 12

•  New Media 11+12

•  Social Justice 12

•  Literary Studies 10, 11, 12


Ole Giæver headshot

Photo by Ole Magnus Kinapel

Ole Giaever

Ole Giæver (b.1977) studied at the Nordland Art and Film College and Konstfack Art Academy in Stockholm. His feature debut The Mountain (2011), was selected for Panorama at the Berlinale. His second feature Out of Nature (2015) premiered at Toronto and in Panorama at the Berlinale, where it won the Europa Cinemas Label Award. He returned to the Berlinale in 2017 with From the Balcony (2017), which was also selected for Panorama. Let the River Flow (2023) debuted at the Film Festival in Tromsø, winning the Audience Award. It also won the Audience and FIPRESCI Award at the Film Festival in Göteborg.

Filmography: The Mountain (2011); Out of Nature (2014); From The Balcony (2017)





Thursday, October 5 9:30 am International Village, Theatre 9


How to Book

Free for schools, capacity for all films is limited. To book, submit your request with the online form below. Our Ignite team will respond to confirm availability and complete your booking.

Questions? Contact our Ignite team at [email protected]

Booking Request Form

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Executive Producer

Axel Helgeland


Maria Ekerhovd


Ole Giæver


Marius Matzow Gulbrandsen


Wibecke Rønseth

Production Design

Ragnhild Juliane Sletta, Cecilie De Lange

Original Music

Ola Fløttum, Pessi Levanto