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Land Within

Documentary Film
60 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jenni Kivistö
Jenni Kivistö
Andrés Estefan Ramírez, Samuel Valkola
Otto Andersson
Jenni Kivistö
Jarkko Kela, Rafael Ospino Betancourt
A film in dreamtime and a nomadic reflection on the alien and the familiar: Finnish filmmaker Jenni Kivistö feels a strange kinship to the Wayuu tribe who live in the desert between Colombia and Venezuela. The seriousness, but also the silence of these people seem eerily familiar to her – a closeness she carefully nourishes and questions. She approaches the reality of this distant place in the north of South America in four chapters of enchanting and powerful imagery, interspersed with light and lyrical notes that resemble diary entries. The attention she pays to a Wayuu myth of origin is as great as the serene curiosity with which she incorporates everyday moments and dreams, strange rituals and ghostly incidents in her narrative.

At some point Kivistö relates her encounter with a little boy who teaches her a few words of his language while she in turn teaches him Finnish vocabulary. Some terms are similar. Others bear no relationship to each other at all. There’s only one word that means the same in Finnish and Wayuu: “maa”. It’s the word for earth. Or: the land.

Ralph Eue