Let the River flow

by Ole Giaever

Based on real events that inspired a whole generation of young Norwegians to stand up. A gripping and moving portrayal of the indigenous people‘s struggle for survival.

During summer 1979, Ester moves to Alta in Northern Norway to begin teaching at an elementary school. Like many Sámi at the time, she is ashamed of her heritage and conceals her ethnicity. Ester goes to great lengths to fit in, even joining in with the derogatory jokes. When her cousin Mikkhal takes her to a camp by the Alta River where people are demonstrating against the building of a dam, Ester learns how the fight for the river is also a revolt against the years of brutal racism and discrimination against her people. After a major confrontation with the police, Mikkhal and some other Sámi decideto go to Oslo to hunger strike in front of the Parliament. Knowing what is at stake, Ester realises it is time to make a stand…

Genre / Language / Length
Drama / Norwegian / 118 minutes
Original title
Ellas Eatnu - La Elva Leve
directed by
Ole Giaever
director of photography
Marius Matzow Guldbrandsen
screenplay by
Ole Giaever
produced by
Mer Film in co-production with Bufo, Zentropa Sweden, Helmet and Knudsen Pictures
  • Ella Marie Haetta Isaksen
  • Gard Emil
  • Sofia Jannok
  • Beaska Niillas
  • Marie Kvernmo

Press Quotes

“strongly about disgrace in Norwegian history”

“a rare and important story”


“A heartbreaking and strong story of survival”