In the warm, dense heat of a Southern Estonian smoke sauna, a group of women share their innermost secrets and intimate experiences.
The rituals of the sauna envelop them, as they wash away the shame trapped in their bodies. Filmmaker Anna Hints captures this intimate space up close, without any sense of intrusion. In the dark, enclosed space, her camera – richly lit with beams of golden daylight – frames bodies and faces in chiaroscuro, while the women give voice to their past experiences: sharing, accepting, finding laughter and solace, regaining their strength through a sense of communion.
Watching Smoke Sauna Sisterhood is a transformative experience for the viewer too, brought into a corporeal world of emotional veracity and deep empathy.