Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
The Laps, who call themselves the Sami, are perhaps the last surviving tribal people living in Europe. Their home is the northernmost part of Sweden, in a province called Lapland. Their way of life was recently threatened with sudden extinction when their reindeer herds were killed by government order, following the Chernobyl nuclear accident in the Ukraine which spread radioactive dust all over Europe. This documentary has been accused of romanticizing a non-threatening situation, as the killed animals were paid for by the government at market prices, and the number killed was no greater than that the Sami would have killed for sale anyway in a normal season. Nonetheless, there was no scientific evidence that the animals were contaminated, and the heavy-handed tactics of the government served to call attention to this hard-pressed group.