© mindjazz pictures

Sumé-The Sound of a Revolution
Denmark/Norway 2014

Opening 21 Jan 2016

Directed by: Inuk Silis Høegh
Writing credits: Inuk Silis Høegh, Emile H. Péronard

In 1973 the Greenlandic band Sumé brought out their first album. Sumé's music was inspired by American Rock but their lyrics were in the Greenlandic language. The combination of these two elements, along with what the lyrics were saying, quickly made the band popular. At that time Greenland was still a municipality within Denmark with no influence over politics or political decisions made in Denmark which directly effected Greenland. Sumé's lyrics were critical of the Danish colonial power and helped bring about awareness of maintaining the Inuit culture. In this documentary Inuk Silis Høegh explores how a rock band could have so much influence over a nation.  He uses a mix of old and new film footage. Members of the band look back at how Sumé started. Inserted are interviews of friends, fans and political figures. Also used is rare super 8 footage of live performances of the band. Høegh gives the songs and their lyrics a lot of play time and shows footage of the Greenlandic landscapes and the Inuit people back in the 1970s. The music of Sumé varies from dreamlike to unsettling. The lyrics voice the frustration and suppression of the Inuits under Danish rule and the longing for freedom and self-awareness. In the 1970s all education was in the Danish language and for any kind of training or higher education the Greenlandic people had to go to Denmark. The Greenlandic people were often seen as inferior by the Danes. The documentary is not just about a rock band but also a view into the history of Greenland and the Inuit people.  The next time I fly over Greenland on my way to the U.S., I will no longer see Greenland as a large mass of white ice and snow but as a land of people with a rich culture and somewhere, in the distance, I know I will hear  the sound of music playing. (Alana Leichert) (Alana Leichert)

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