"November" is based on Estonian novel "Rehepapp" by Andrus Kivirähk, a bestseller of the last twenty years. The film is a mixture of magic, black humor and romantic love. The story is set in a pagan Estonian village where werewolves, the plague, and spirits roam. The villagers' main problem is how to survive the cold, dark winter. And, to that aim, nothing is taboo. People steal from each other, from their German manor lords, and from spirits, the devil, and Christ. To guard their souls, they'll give them away to thieving creatures made of wood and metal called kratts, who help their masters by stealing more. They steal even if their barns are already overflowing. Stealing is an obsession that makes the villagers more and more like the soulless creatures they command, the kratts. The main character of the film is a young farm girl named Liina who is hopelessly and forlornly in love with a village boy named Hans. Her longing makes the girl become a werewolf and jump into an ice-cold ...
I rented this film on a lark not knowing anything but the brief synopsis on Netflix. It languished a few days atop my Blu-ray player, then last night I popped it in so I could send it back. Holy cow!!! (an actual reference to an unforgettable image within the film!) from the very first exquisitely rendered silver-toned b&w shot I felt mesmerized by the films originality, the simplicity and clarity of its absurdity, the openness and uniqueness of every actor's face, the alchemy of the cinematography that strips its images to the essential and presents every scene like a haiku. Sometimes surreal films can be all style and no substance, but not here. The way the characters interact and how the director (Rainer Sarnet) places the camera to capture nuances in each character, the relationships all resonate as identifiable and real. That said, you are so thrown off balance by the strangeness of what you're actually viewing....you find yourself constantly trying to get your bearings. This is a masterpiece to be surrendered to. When a film maker is this kind of visionary...all you can do is trust he'll take you somewhere you've never been before. I look forward to taking this journey again. A new favorite.
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