In it, different groups of men in the sauna talk about episodes of their own lives. Inside the sauna, naked, they share personal stories. These groups of men in the sauna were from different parts of Finland.
What would you say to this proposition? We were traveling with a small group of people we had only known for a few days in Finnish Lapland and the evening activities involved dinner and Finnish sauna. I spent an entire afternoon stressing out about exactly what was going to happen because, first, a little something was lost in transition and it sounded like we were having dinner in the sauna.
The film travels through Finland joining men of all walks of life in many different saunas, bringing us their touching stories about love, death, birth and friendship; about life. In all its simplicity, the camera records the raw and rare beauty of landscapes, saunas and men in almost magical images. The presence of the characters and the depth of their emotion reaches a limit where it is almost intolerable for the viewer to watch.
It was week one of a new job with a computer start-up near Heidelberg in Germany. I never dreamt it would involve standing outdoors with colleagues, snowflakes falling on my bare skin. For me it was a seismic culture shock. In this northerly nation of nearly 5.
The fundamental need of humans to talk -- to express themselves and try to make sense of their inner lives -- is abundantly on display in a remarkable film from Finland, Steam of Lifethat goes deep into the inner sanctum of Finnish life, the sauna. Both women and men engage in this ubiquitous ritual, but Steam of Life focuses on Finnish men. It turns out that the cleansing that takes place in Finnish saunas is as much emotional as physical.
To pass the time, my in-laws sang several Finnish national songs. My face turned red as a Finnish strawberry. The vibrant dusk over the calm lake.
The results are affecting, though probably not quite compelling enough to insure either a nomination or an American release. One mildly titillating aspect of the movie is that most of the men, young and old, are completely naked while they tell their stories. In keeping with their lack of physical inhibitions, their confessions seem remarkably natural and unforced.
There is nothing more Finnish than sauna, and many Finns think you can not grasp Finland or its culture without bathing in a sauna. However, Finns understand that foreigners have certain inhibitions and concerns when it comes to stepping in a heated box with no clothes on. Have a look at our tips below and you need to worry no more.
Finnish men usually are very modest and humble; they believe there is a proper way to act in any circumstance, and are also very good listeners. Knowing that they are patient and respectful, you can be assured that they are perfect partner material. Words here are taken seriously and people are held to what they say.