As a 25-year war between Russia and Sweden concludes, two brothers who are part of an effort to outline new border accords become undone by their actions, and their mistreatment of a young woman during their journey.
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The Russo-Swedish War (1590-1595) has just ended, and new borders are drawn between Finland (under Swedish rule) and the Tsardom of Russia. Brothers Knut and Eerik are tasked with marking the border. They discover a mysterious village, built in the middle of a swamp. Within the village is a sauna, and the brothers hope it may wash away their sins.Written by
The background of the film is set in the historical Russo-Swedish War (1590-1595). The war was fought over possession of the Duchy of Estonia. At the end of the war, Sweden ceded some territories to Russia, but managed to remain in control over Estonia. Russia had to renounce all claims on Estonia. See more »
Modern day fillings are visible in the mouth of one character. See more »
[Eerik just brutally killed a man with a knife]
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Great looks, probably deep ideas, but a slow pace
The movie is beautifully done, with dark wet imagery and good acting. However, you either have to be Finnish to understand or I was too tired to get the message. All I could get was that for the Finns the sauna is a cultural heirloom, dating way before their christianizing, a place where they believed to wash their sins. Finns and their sins. Sorry, couldn't help it :) However, left long enough to rot, those sins become unattonable and even if you face them, it is pointless. I guess this is one of those life lessons that the Christian religion is desperately trying to hide from us.
Anyway, as I said, great imagery and the feeling of desolation and burden of sin is almost palpable. I liked the characters as well, deep and sharp. However, it was a slow thing and never in the movie there was any "aha!" moment. One has to make an effort to watch the film and to understand it. Being Finnish probably helps, too.
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