How a rock band helped bring about Greenland’s home rule

A recent documentary about the revolutionary Greenlandic rock band Sumé was highlighted at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

By Melody Schreiber - August 28, 2019

On Monday, the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., featured a Greenlandic documentary as part of the Smithsonian Year of Music 2019.

The film, “Sumé: Mumisitsinerup Nipaa (The Sound of a Revolution),” was directed by the Greenlandic artist and filmmaker Inuk Silis Høegh. It focuses on the groundbreaking rock band Sumé, which released the first recorded songs in the Greenlandic language in 1973 “and changed the history of Greenland,” as the film’s description reads.

The band dove into the complex politics of Greenland, which in the ’70s still felt like a Danish colony, as one person interviewed in the documentary says.

The band gave Greenland a language to express how it felt to remain under Denmark’s rule for 250 years — and it sparked a cultural revolution that led, eventually, to the home rule government established in 2009.

It’s a timely film for those wishing to gain a better understanding of modern Greenlandic political history, including the process toward self-determination.

If you missed the Washington screening, you can still watch the film by streaming it from Anorak Film’s website.