Smoke Sauna Sisterhood: The One Who Listens Understands

“Smoke Sauna Sisterhood,” directed by Anna Hints, is a cutting the edge documentary that explores the depths of womanhood and the power of vulnerability. The film takes us on a journey through the traditional smoke sauna seances of Estonia, where women of all ages and backgrounds come together to share their innermost secrets and experiences in a cabin nestled in the woods. A safe place to share, a safe community to rely on. One cannot help but think, what a wonderfully nurturing place we as humans can create if we want to.

Through stunning visuals and a tasteful approach, Hints invites us to witness these intimate gatherings, which serve as a haven for women to explore their femininity, motherhood, and what it means to be a modern woman. The director draws from her personal connection to the tradition, passed down from her grandmother, to create a movie that feels both cutting-edge and authentic.
As the women share their stories, we are privy to a wide range of topics, from beauty standards and identity to love, identity, relationships, abuse, worries, death, the trials of aging and more. These conversations are at times hilarious, relatable, and deeply moving. An incredibly daunting moment is when one woman shares the story of how she was raped, and how her mother claimed she was lying and too ugly to be raped anyways.

Smoke Sauna Sisterhood

Source: Film Review Daily

The documentary is also a tribute to the human body, evoking classic imagery and art – from The Venus of Willendorf to the work of Botticelli. The cinematography is tasteful and beautiful, the use of smoke and elements of nature sometimes resemble transcendental paintings. I am convinced that this movie, if part of school curriculums, could greatly contribute to the children’s healthier development – from the perspective of body image to open communication.

“Smoke Sauna Sisterhood” is revolutionary, its effect on audiences being close to meditation. It also opens the gates to the art and importance of listening to audiences. Moreover, Hints reminds us of the destruction that is caused by neglecting each other’s stories and feelings, as well as the healing that comes from sharing and supporting one another.

The film’s soundscape, created in collaboration with Edvard Eglisson, immerses us in the experience of communal meditation, chanting and cleansing. The allegory of smoking meat adds a thought-provoking layer to the narrative, emphasizing the transformative power of these gatherings. The bucolic scenery, and the ghostly-mysterious nature of the seance give out otherworldly vibes.

“Smoke Sauna Sisterhood” awakens something purely feminine and powerful within its viewers. It is a testament to the significance of embracing our authentic selves and supporting one another as we navigate the complexities of womanhood, humanity and life.

Smoke Sauna Sisterhood is now available on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, VUDU and more.

~ by Dora Endre ~