Specials, Finland 2010, 82 Min., finn. OV, germ. st
The health (and social) value of a steam bath is incontrovertible. In their film, Berghäll and Hotakainen plainly show that a visit to the sauna in Finland also has a cathartic dimension. They visited men of every age in their sweat lodges, where their thoughts seem to open up along with their pores and, by the literal sweat of their brows, the buck naked men begin to expose their souls. One of them talks about previous criminal convictions and the long time he spent in prison; another about the trauma of growing up with an authoritarian, aggressive father. One man starts crying as he talks about daughter, who doesn’t live with him, while yet another happily demonstrates how he’s been massaging his wife’s back for 51 years. “Steam of Life” is a touching, tragicomic gem of a film that won the documentary prize awarded by Lübeck’s trade unions at the 2010 NFL.
Director Joonas Berghäll, Mika Hotakainen
Screenplay Joonas Berghäll, Mika Hotakainen
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No screenings are available for this film.