Smoke Sauna Sisterhood

Smoke Sauna Sisterhood

Previews at Cinecittà

COUNTRIES: Estonia, France, Iceland YEAR: 2023 RUNTIME: 89 min


LANGUAGE(S): Estonian


SCRIPT: Anna Hints

PRODUCED BY: Marianne Ostra


EDITED BY: Qutaiba Barhamji, Anna Hints, Hendrik Mägar, Martin Männik, Tushar Prakash

SCORE: Eeter, Edvard Egilsson



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” 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. 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.


Anna Hints

Anna Hints is an Estonian film director with a background in contemporary art and experimental folk music. She is currently studying for a masters degree at the Department of Drama at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and a singer in the electronic-folk trio EETER.

As an active dumpster diver, Anna’s short documentary FOR TOMORROW PARADISE ARRIVES (2021) initiated public discussion about food waste in Estonia. SMOKE SAUNA SISTERHOOD is Anna’s first feature documentary and premiered at Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Documentary Competition in 2023 with Anna winning the Directing Award.

For Tomorrow Paradise Arrives (2021), Smoke Sauna Sisterhood (2023)

PRODUCTION: Alexandra Film

WORLD SALES: Autlook Filmsales (

GERMAN DISTRIBUTOR: Neue Visionen Filmverleih Gmbh (