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Winner - Directing Award, World Cinema - Documentary, Sundance Film Festival 2023

Women share their innermost secrets and intimate experiences inside an Estonian smoke sauna. Cleansing their bodies and baring their souls, they embrace the healing power of sisterhood. This Sundance-winning documentary celebrates the centuries-old smoke sauna tradition, recognized on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

“Deep within the woods of southern Estonia, a group of women come together to seek healing and shelter in the darkness of a traditional smoke sauna. Shot over five years, the film shows the seasons pass and, as snow melts into spring, the cycle of nature becomes a backdrop to the inner sanctuary of the women. Embraced by the warmth and smoke, sweat and tears, they support and hold one another as they share their innermost secrets and experiences, washing away the trauma and sweating the hurt out of their bodies. With stunning cinematography and a sensitive lens, director Anna Hints and the sisterhood of women give us a gift as they allow us into their most personal space of vulnerability and healing, showing us what the power of sisterhood can invoke.”

Film description by Hot Docs programmer Heather Haynes.

In Estonian with English subtitles.

Promotional Partners: Estonian Arts Centre, Society of Estonian Artists in Toronto and Vemu Estonian Museum Canada.

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  • Director(s)

    • Anna Hints

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