Interview with Anna Hints, the director of "Smoke Sauna Sisterhood", interviewer Milani Perera
"Anna Hints, who won the Best Director award for a documentary film at the Sundance Film Festival, learned to listen to her inner voice through the process of filmmaking.
In an interview with ERR, Hints confesses that she suffered from severe social phobia when she was younger. She found solace in classic films. Films deeply touched her and gave her the feeling that she possessed what it takes to make a film. The fear of leading a team seemed to be the only obstacle.
While making the film ""Sisters of the Smoke Sauna,"" she repeatedly heard whispers about how the film should be done. Hints works very intuitively and often doesn't have words to explain her vision, just the idea - even the opening scene with chants heard in the darkness came to her in a dream. Staying true to her vision and learning to trust her instincts in filmmaking was what allowed her to make Estonian film history.
Bringing an intimate and healing film to the big screen took Hints seven years. She has been familiar with the smoke sauna tradition since childhood, and her magical gaze into the small, dim world of the sauna is heartwarmingly sincere and healing. Like any great art piece, the film arises compelling questions which the audience has to answer for themselves - what should we pass on and what patterns do we want to break?
""It offers a safe space, where you can really be vulnerable and you can really share everything. No emotion or no experience is too shameful or too painful. Every story inside us, every emotion, every experience has a birthright in the smoke sauna.""
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