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Understanding Global Cultures
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 Fall 2020

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Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys

(84 min., 2014)

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 Sámi (Saami, Sami) class web page

Jessica Oreck; Rachael Teel; Jari Etelälahti; Aarne Aatsinki; Lasse Aatsinki; Raisa Korpela; Myriapod Productions (Firm),

Credits supplied from DVD.

Originally released as a motion picture in 2013.

Credits: Co-producers, Rachael Teel, Jari Etelälahti; translation, Raisa Korpela.

Performer(s): Featuring Aarne Aatsinki, Lasse Aatsinki; with: Raisa Korpela, Inka Aatsinki, Vilma Aatsinki, Hilla-Inkeri Aatsinki, Lauri Aatsinki.

In Finnish with English subtitles.

Publisher: New York: Myriapod Productions

Date: 2014

Format: 1 streaming video (84 min.): sound, color.; online resource

Language: Finnish

Source: University of Minnesota Catalog (9974490782801701)


Brothers Aarne and Lasse Aatsinki are cowboys of the Arctic. Quiet but good natured, dare-devilish but humble, rugged but gentle, and exceptionally knowledgeable when it comes to their little slice of wilderness. The brothers, along with their wives and children, live well north of the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, where they are the leaders of a collective of traditional reindeer herders who manage the last group of wild reindeer in all of Finland. Aatsinki follows the family for the span of one year, quietly observing their seasonal routines and the difficulties and joys of a life so closely tied to the land. Though, on the surface, Aatsinki is the story of a single family, its underlying narrative is one of global consequences and connections. Between their uncanny understanding of the landscape and their reindeer on the one hand, and their heavy reliance on snowmobiles and helicopters on the other, the herders have been categorized as beacons of sustainability and demons of environmentalism-- in essence, poster children for simplicity and technology alike.

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