Mervi Enqvist’s Power of the People is a touching film that gives voice to poet Laura Eklund Nhaga, who is searching for the right way for her to have an impact. The possibilities and impossibilities of activism are countless, and none are indisputably more effective than the rest. But, she wonders, if one’s very existence as part of Western hegemony is in itself political, can activism truly be a choice, or is it simply the only way to be?
Enqvist’s film takes place in a time defined by Brexit and the pandemic. It delicately calls attention to the ways in which restrictions on freedom of movement are felt differently by those in positions of privilege. Freedom can only exist when its terms are not imposed from the outside.
Eklund Nhaga’s poems flow from the stairs of the Finnish Parliament House, through a British university’s open mic poetry event, to the Capitol. Through these powerful verses, she seems to suggest that hearing the experiences of racialized and marginalized people can have an impact on how freedom is defined in the world.
Petra Vallila (translated by Mira Sairanen)