Smoke Sauna Sisterhood

Documentary Rated: NR 89 min

In the darkness of a smoke sauna, near a frozen lake in the forest, women share their innermost secrets and intimate experiences, washing off the shame trapped in their bodies and regaining their strength through a sense of communion. Shot over a period of many months with women of different ages, this primal film celebrates the beauty of flesh, ritual and community while listening to women make sense of their lives. Director Anna Hints, making her debut, finds cinematic poetry in the simple act of observing conversation. She won the Best Director in the World Documentary competition at Sundance last year and is nominated for a Producers Guild of America award. The film was also a selection at FilmColumbia23.

“Hints, whose grandmother introduced her to the smoke-sauna ritual, uses the documentary to speak volumes about what it means to be a woman, even as the focus remains fixed on a single location: a cramped sauna-cabin located in a forest.” — Beatrice Loayza, The New York Times
directed by
Anna Hints
written by
Anna Hints
Kadi Kivilo, Maria Meresaar, Elsa Saks
Estonia, France, Iceland