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Finland, 2008 (MIFF 2009, Night Shift)

Director: Antti-Jussi Annila


“Invokes slavishly two masters, Andrei Tarkovsky and Stanley Kubrick, with this intensely baroque and religion-inflected period horror.” - Screen International

In 1595, decades of savage war have concluded in an uneasy peace between Sweden and Russia. Two brothers, Eerik and Knut, travel the wilds between the two countries, part of a Swedish delegation to redraw the post-war borders.

Plagued with guilt after brutalising a peasant family and leaving a girl to suffer a slow death, the brothers stumble into a nameless village, at its centre a sauna that offers the promise of mystically washing away the sins of the past. But the past is not so easily done with.

Featuring arresting imagery, Sauna mixes escalating violence with unrelenting claustrophobia.

D Antti-Jussi Annila P Jesse Fryckman, Tero Kaukomaa S Iiro Küttner Dist Madman L Finnish, Russian w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2008

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