Loading Events
a group of naked woman stand by a wooden hut in a forest.

SFFILM Festival

Smoke Sauna Sisterhood

Directed by Anna Hints

Estonia | 89

23 Apr
Sun, Apr 23, 2023 at 2:15 pm PT

Guests Expected

Director Anna Hints, Producer Marianne Ostrat


The healing powers of sisterhood take on a new meaning in this luxuriant portrait by Anna Hints. Following a group of Estonian women who gather in a handmade sweat lodge, the film languidly moves through the seasons as bodies gather in the rituals of the sauna. Baring their souls and their flesh, tears are released into the heavy, warm air, and quickly dispelled with laughter as the women nurture one another. The specificity of each individual’s experience weaves a rich tapestry and yet there is a undertow of universal understanding flowing throughout this finely crafted film. Hints immerses us in a space innately known to all humans, suspending viewers in an ephemeral experience of love and acceptance. This debut feature won the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema–Documentary directing award.

Director Anna Hints

Estonian writer, director, and composer Anna Hints began her filmmaking career making shorts, including Free World (2012), which won the Tallinn Black Night Film Festival’s Sleepwalkers Grand Prize; Manifest of Hope (2014); Ice (2018); and Homme saabub paradiis (2021). Smoke Sauna Sisterhood, her feature debut, won the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Documentary directing award.


Film Details

Language Estonian, Seto, Võro

Year 2023

Premiere California

Runtime 89

Country Estonia, France, Iceland

Director Anna Hints

Producer Marianne Ostrat, Juliette Cazanave, Hlín Jóhannesdóttir

Editor Hendrik Mägar, Tushar Prakash, Martin Männik, Qutaiba Barhamji, Anna Hints

Cinematographer Ants Tammik

Music Edvard Egilsson, EETER

Closed Captions Closed Captions are not currently confirmed and will be updated soon.

Audio Description Audio Descriptions are not currently confirmed and will be updated soon.

American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation American Sign Language Interpretation is not currently confirmed and will be updated. For any questions about accessibility at SFFILM Events, please email ADA@SFFilm.org.