Sauna | Chicago Reader

Sauna

Rated NR 2008

Antti-Jussi Annila's moody hybrid of Bergmanesque metaphysics and J-horror atmospherics (2008) was an award-winning box-office dud in its native Finland. In 1595, following a quarter century of religious warfare between Sweden and Russia, a bipartisan expedition sets out to map a new boundary between the kingdoms. The party crosses a dismal swamp and discovers a strange village whose infertile but undying inhabitants are psychically oppressed by a bunker-like sauna at the edge of town. A series of gory supernatural visitations prompts the guilt-ridden Swedes to foist the haunted region on the bellicose Russians, who respond in kind. Nothing quite adds up, but it's lovely to look at and definitely casts a spell. In Finnish and Russian with subtitles. 85 min.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.bronson.fi/sauna

Director: Antti-Jussi Annila

Writer: Iiro Küttner

Producer: Jesse Fryckman and Tero Kaukomaa

Cast: Ville Virtanen, Tommi Eronen, Viktor Klimenko, Rain Tolk, Kari Ketonen, Sonja Petäjäjärvi, Vilhelmiina Virkkunen, Taisto Reimaluoto, Ismo Kallio and Kati Outinen

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