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Francesco and Marta are husband and wife running a small design company in Rome. When Francesco's long forgotten Aunt Anita dies in Istanbul, he travels there to look after the sale of the hamam (one of a few traditional Turkish baths left) he inherited. There he meets the family running the hamam, gets attracted to a member of it and the whole Turkish atmosphere and decides not to sell the hamam.. Written by
In the US, this film is being 'pitched' as a film about sexuality. In truth, that is not the film's focus. The main character travels to Turkey and undergoes an unexpected personal transformation. Part of this transformation has to do with same-gender sexuality. But you will enjoy the film much more if you forget about that entirely, and let the story unfold.
I think that the film's main characteristic is that it is subtle. The main character is not shouting his confusion from the rooftops; the viewer is left to draw conclusions from glances and actions (or the lack thereof). Some self-reflection comes in the form of letters that his aunt wrote to his mother, with the implication that he feels the same way.
Steam, or Hamam, is about suddenly finding one's "home", and being willing to accept that discovery and embrace it.
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