Mondé World Films
The Life and Artwork of Solveig Arneng Johnson
This beautiful documentary/love story illuminates the life of Sami American artist Solveig Arneng Johnson, whose body of artwork captures her love of Norway, family and natural surroundings. Born in 1925 in the Arctic town of Kirkenes, Norway, Solveig reflects on life during the throes of World War II, her indigenous Sami identity, art studies, immigrating to America (Duluth, Minnesota) and the love of her life. Run time: 39 minutes
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WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:
John E. Xavier - Chair, Sami Siida of North America
In her film, "Solveig," Kiersten Dunbar Chace has taken on a very big dual challenge. She has made a film about both an artist, Solveig Arneng Johnson, and Solveig's art. Ms. Chace has met very well this challenge by a combination of her own artistic approaches. This is no small challenge due to Solveig's place in the top ranks of living Sami and Sami-North American artists.
Solveig's fascinating biography includes the shocking Nazi takeover of her native land, Sapmi, the northern Norwegian home of the Sami peoples. The biography includes her marriage and move to the US, specifically to northern Minnesota. Then there is the art. The art is everywhere in the narrative, and it is art that has grown in quantity and quality of many decades.
This over-arching combination of biography and personal art history results in an impressive film that is not about the film. It is about Solveig. That is the success of this film, that Ms. Chace has drawn out so much from Solveig the low-key and thoughtful woman to give us a sympathetic and yet worthy and meaningful interpretation of Solveig the artist.
Marlene Wisuri- Chair of the Sami Cultural Center of North America
With Solveig - The Life and Artwork of Solveig Arneng Johnson, Kiersten Chace has created a hauntingly beautiful look at the life of a remarkable woman. From Solveig’s wartime youth in Norway to her present day life in Northern Minnesota, Chace has woven the threads of the life of artist, wife, mother, and respected Sami elder into a visually stunning tapestry.
Ellen Marie Jensen - Author and PhD Research Fellow in Indigneous and Sámi Research, Uit, Arctic University of Norway
Solveig will capture the hearts of all audiences, but resonates with a particular poignancy for those of us with deep roots from Finnmark Province in North Norway. Through the soulful story of this remarkable Sámi immigrant woman, we learn about the deep personal and communal consequences of the occupation of North Norway during WWII. But the film is not only about that often silenced tramau, it also captures the story of love, migration and survival, and the profound gift of creativity.
In the words of one viewer from Finnmark Province: “I want so many people to see this film. Solveig, that woman is the real thing. She is not an angular individual doing art. She has truly learned to be human.”
Greg Taylor - Educator, Washington, D.C.
What a warm and beautiful tribute to Solveig. As always lots of themes to think about. 1. No matter the continent, indigenous people have been marginalized in some way. 2. If one saw her art and did not know the back story behind each piece they'd miss quite a bit. The dragonfly picture is really about love in its hottest and purest form. 3. Not being able to do what she loves made me sad. At the same time her acceptance and resilience is inspiring. I guess the lesson is really how we have to accept change, enjoy and hold onto the journey and not the destination 4. It's awesome that her granddaughter is following in her footsteps. I thought it was a self portrait until the end of the film. The entire time I was thinking, that picture really captures her spirit.
Great work, Kiersten. I felt like I left the film knowing the true character and essence of a wonderful person. What a remarkable and full life. As always you've also taught me something that I never knew existed. In this case, it was about the Sami people.
Samuel Finley - Artist
This film brilliantly captures her artwork and life story. The winter scenery, the ethereal fog, chimney smoke, clouds, vapors... all metaphors of the soft light shining out of Solveig Arneng. Her life story is a testament to her body of work and the film also gives a deserving testament to the love of her life, husband Rudi. Great story! Thank you!
REVIEWS / PRESS
Duluth Tribune News (Article on Solveig)
February 3, 2012
KAXE Radio Public Radio Broadcast -April 2012
Baiki - The International Saami Journal
Issue #35, Spring 2012
Article on Solveig and Monde World Films
Finnish American Reporter - May 2012
Producer/Director/Editor: Kiersten Dunbar Chace
Cinematography: Kiersten Dunbar Chace
Music Composer: Benny Weinbeck
Ambient Music: Todd Madson
Flute: Christina Johnson
Graphics: Antoni Commodore
2nd Interview Cam: Vickie Van Kempen
Paintings Photographed by: Casey Meshbesher
Duluth, Nature and House Stills: Kiersten Dunbar Chace
Other Photography: Vickie Van Kempen
Sally Johnson (Solveig Arneng)
Benny Weinbeck - www.bennyweinbeck.com
Todd Madson - http://aliensporebomb.bandcamp.com/
Casey Meshbesher - www.flickr.com/photos/caseyscamera
Kiersten Chace - http://www.chacestudios.com
Sami American Related:
Arran - http://arran2.blogspot.com/
Saami Baiki - http://www.baiki.org/
a kiersten chace production