A note from independent filmmaker David Conover on why he chose this film:
For some reason, dark, hot rooms with sweating people have always engaged the curiosity of Estonian Madis Kats, a photographer and collector of sauna experiences. Why? Filmmaker Aleksandr Heifets meets Madis in a small village, a three-hour drive from Tallinn, Estonia. Unlike the Turkish steam bath, the hammam of Morocco, the Russian dry banya, or the Native American sweat lodge, the hot rooms in this part of the world are called “smoke saunas.” They are revered as much—if not more—than the traditional holy places of this Baltic region. One day, Madis hopes to have one of his own. For now, though, he searches for the powerful soul refreshment he first encountered early in life. With the radical insider perspective of this ReelEarth Collection, we follow. Among these Estonian smoke saunas, we learn something about hot rooms, people, and the similarities, differences, and variations of this global experience of restoration and changed lives. This film is a hot door into another culture!
Produced by Aleksandr Heifets
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