Smoke Sauna Sisterhood

Women share their innermost secrets and intimate experiences inside an Estonian smoke sauna. Cleansing their bodies and baring their souls, they embrace the healing power of sisterhood. Anna Hints’ Sundance-winning documentary celebrates the centuries-old smoke sauna tradition, recognized on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

“#7 Best Film of 2023 . . . A number of good and much buzzier films from this year — Barbie, Poor Things — chronicled women’s journeys toward becoming their own heroes in a world still tilted toward patriarchy. But the Estonian documentary Smoke Sauna Sisterhood is the one that’s stuck with me most . . . Visually striking and uncommonly frank, it gets at an authenticity that few fiction films can fully capture.”

The New York Times

“#3 Best Film of 2023 . . . In a year of strong documentaries, Smoke Sauna Sisterhood is a masterful example of the alchemy that can occur when a filmmaker develops absolute trust with their subject, and casts a spell I have been unable to shake.”

Screen International

“The Best Film of the Year . . . A Masterpiece . . . This film forever changed me.”

Cinema Femme

“The small miracle of the Estonian film Smoke Sauna Sisterhood is that it does more than show us a blissfully safe space; it invites us inside.”

“Exquisite artistry . . . The rich palette of blacks and golds is worthy of an old master’s canvas.”

The Hollywood Reporter

“The film is so beautifully shot that many frames could almost be moody portraits from the Dutch Masters.”


“Transcendent. A smoky, steamy miracle.”


“Bewitching . . . These raw bodies exhibit an organic kind of beauty, real and uninhibited.”

The New York Times

“Hypnotic, intimate, and blisteringly honest.”

Harper's BAZAAR

“There is such raw emotional intimacy in this dazzling documentary from Estonia.”

The Guardian

“An intangible marvel.”

The Irish Times


The Times

“Smoke Sauna Sisterhood’s hypnotic storytelling has the ability to lure you in and keep you hooked.”

Time Out

“An intense watch; at times infectiously hilarious, at others wrenchingly sad. For the film’s brief running time, there’s an emotional osmosis at play, in both sauna and cinema alike.”

The Guardian

“Magnificent visual poetry.”

Financial Times

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