Sedona News – The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the Northern Arizona premiere of “Smoke Sauna Sisterhood” showing Dec. 29-Jan. 4 at the Alice Gill-Sheldon Theatre.
“Smoke Sauna Sisterhood” is Estonia’s official entry to the Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film.
In the darkness of a smoke sauna, 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.
No story too shameful, no burden too heavy to carry when you share it with your sisterhood. The Vana-Võromaa (region in South Estonia) smoke sauna tradition known as “savvusanna kombõ” and listed in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, is one of connecting family and friends to cleanse body and soul inside a place of peace and contemplation. Conflicts are left outside.
In Filmmaker Anna Hints’ “Smoke Sauna Sisterhood”, the history of the smoke saunas as a place of giving birth inspired them to focus on women who “come together in the protective darkness of the smoke sauna, share their deepest secrets and wash off the shame that has accumulated in their bodies”.
The first documentary by an Estonian director to compete and win at Sundance, “Smoke Sauna Sisterhood” is a deeply moving, intimate and breathtaking approach to issues of trauma, healing, and community.
Filmed almost as if a Vermeer or Rembrandt painting, the camera is never intrusive, never mechanical. Rather, the images move as the smoke — lingering, wafting, suspended briefly before disappearing and reappearing. With an authentic voice and authority born of their own heritage, filmmaker Anna Hints has created a transformative experience of being human within a female body, showing women “as they are” with great emotional veracity and deep empathy.
“Smoke Sauna Sisterhood” will be shown at the Alice Gill-Sheldon Theatre Dec. 29-Jan. 4. Showtimes will be Friday and Saturday, Dec. 29 and 30 at 6:30 p.m.; and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 2, 3 and 4 at 3:30 p.m.
Tickets are $12, or $9 for Film Festival members. For tickets and more information, please call 928-282-1177. Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona. For more information, visit: www.SedonaFilmFestival.org.