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 film is set in the borders of Finland, which was then under Swedish rule. Swedish rule in Finland was established in the 13th century, through a number of Northern Crusades. It lasted until 1809, when Sweden lost the so-called Finnish War (1808-1809). It was forced to cede Finland to the victorious Russian Empire. 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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Disturbing, thoughtful and gorgeous art house/horror hybrid
Strikingly beautiful Finnish art house 'horror' film about guilt, religion, sin and punishment, set in the 16th century, at the end of the Russian/Swedish war.
It's full of atmosphere, symbolism, and unanswered questions. Two Swedish brothers/soldiers -- one intellectual, the other violent and borderline mad -- come to a strange town where they are confronted with eerie reminders of their sins, and of those they have killed in war.
Slow paced, but not boring. However, the underlying ideas do get stretched a bit thin over time, and the occasional turn to horror clichés was a little disappointing given the generally high level of intelligence and originality.
Still, interesting enough that I would give it another look now that I understand what its getting at, and gorgeous enough that I'll still enjoy it, even if I'm once again left with mixed feelings about some of the content.
Mention also must be made of the arresting performance by Ville Virtanen as the violent Eerik, recalling Max Von Sydow in his prime.
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