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Next on POV: ‘Steam of Life’

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POV’s 25th season continues with an encore presentation of Steam of Life by Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen. The film airs Thursday, August 16, 2012, on PBS. Check local listings.

Watch Steam of Life
August 16, 2012 on POV.

From a land of long, dark winters comes Steam of Life, a moody, comic and moving study of Finnish men as framed by the national obsession with the sauna. There, they come together to sweat out not only the grime of contemporary life, but also their grief, hopes, joys and memories. Beautifully and hauntingly shot, the acclaimed film provides a surprising glimpse into the lives of Finnish men and a remarkable depiction of the troubled and often reticent hearts of contemporary Western men.

After watching the film, visit POV’s Steam of Life website for interactive features about the film.

POV’s 25th season on PBS continues Thursday nights through October.

POV Staff
POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.
  • okailley

    I cried when one of the men told the story about his child Lida who died. Very insightful, very sad. 

  • Joelhenrick

    Too dark and depressive.  Finnish people are seldomly shown or talked about on North American television.  The movie presents Finnish men in a state of drunked depression.  Without introducing that as the film’s subject  one not knowing any better can draw a conclusion that Finns are weird.

  • Peterchan

    I agree with Joelhenrick’s comments.  Essentially an entire film of drunken depression.  Couldn’t see what relationship, if any, there was between the different sub -episodes’ characters, except they all showed up in the final few scenes as a men’s choir group (the song excerpts are quite tuneless too!).  aif you haven’t watched this program the 1st time don’t bother!

  • Jabeland

    I liked this film because it showed Finnish men with feelings, albiet sad in many instances.  My grandfather came from Finland in the mid-1800s, but rarely spoke of his homeland or family left behind.  I think it as painful for him and he wanted to avoid exposing his feelings.  Finns are not weird–stoic maybe, but oherwise industrious and creative people.