Smoke Sauna Sisterhood (2023)

27 October 2023, 08:00 PM







Anna Hints



89 minutes

Estonian with English subtitles

M18 (Nudity)


Winner – Directing Award, World Cinema Documentary (Sundance Film Festival 2023)

Main Summary

Smoke Sauna Sisterhood explores the intimate nature of womanhood, as a group of women commune in a traditional sauna tucked away in the lush forests of Estonia. Behind the protective veil of the smoke and within the darkness of the sauna, the women relay to each other their most intimate thoughts. The arcane ritual of the smoke sauna symbolises a safe space where the women are free to seek solace.    

The dialogue of the women acts as the primary soundtrack to the film, with the focus being placed on visuals that both abstract and venerate their bodies.

Smoke Sauna Sisterhood’s lyrical cinematography confronts its audience with a cacophony of voices divulging the painful realities of womanhood. Yet, the film also brings to the big screen an almost revered depiction of how such conversations are a form of mutual empowerment.  

Director Anna Hints’ first feature-length documentary is particularly delicate and intentional in its portrayal of femininity. The women in the film are given the space to bare all — both physically and verbally — inviting the audience to share the communal space and witness the sacred renewal of their lived realities.