SMOKE SAUNA SISTERHOOD
Anna Hints / Estonia, France, Iceland / 2023 / 89 min / European Premiere
A group of women sit in a steaming hot sauna and exchange stories. A beautiful, unsentimental film about femininity, solidarity and the very special community of sauna culture across ages and body shapes, captured with an unusual intimacy.
A smoke sauna is a sacred place where you can cleanse your spirit. So says a voice shrouded in smoke and steam. But to whom does the voice belong? A mother, a grandmother, all mothers, Mother Earth? Inside a heated wooden sauna in the middle of a forest, a group of women meet and share their experiences and most personal stories, while a sensuous camera frames their naked bodies in beautiful close-ups. Tales of abuse and sexual arousal, lust and shame mingle with laughter and warm moments of great bonding between the women. The only break comes when they leave the sauna to slip into a refreshing pool of water, its size defined by the season and the nature they are surrounded by. ‘Smoke Sauna Sisterhood’ is an intimate, immersive experience that captures the special community and intimacy of sauna culture.