film 5 of 5


Film Review by Dean Duncan Apr 10, 2015

Look how much more tastefully, organically, appropriately naked this film is. We get some landscape for the general setting, and for a bit of historical and lyrical background. We get the season, and the end of the workday that is so much, so eternally a part of the season. There’s the building itself, and the preparation that goes into the ritual. Here are the ladies, naked, but not coyly or self-consciously so. Most importantly, one of them has her little boy in there. This is a whole culture we’re seeing here! Not only is this how saunas work, but there’s a sort of Japanese-public-bath sense that these Finns, quite properly, wouldn’t think to represent it in any other way. This is how we do it, after all! Since that’s the case, Sauna, possibly even saunas themselves, are neither prurient nor ashamed.

Mind you, the fact that the camera is in here recording this hints at ulterior motive, or at the least an ethnographic taint. The thing captured is not the original thing anymore, by virtue of its captivity. Oh well. If you were a young fellow you might have all sorts of profound feelings as you watched the ladies run out, along that pier, and into that cold lake. This banked and reduced older person imagines how cold the water must be. Yikes! Sauna evokes a set of physical sensations, and the elements, and the whole healthy world that causes them. It’s sensuousness, and not just sensuality. Male gaze? I guess, but the ladies vacate, and the waiting gentlemen succeed them. All very bounded and circumspect, I would say, with everyone enjoying themselves together. Very nice!