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.
- Watch scenes from Steam of Life on the POV video page.
- View photography from the book The Opposite of Cold: The Northwoods Finnish Sauna Tradition and a gallery of saunas from a mobile sauna festival held last year
- Are you pronouncing ‘sauna’ correctly? Listen to audio clips of Finnish words relating to the sauna and discover what they mean.
- Learn more about the history of saunas in Finland and Europe.
POV’s 25th season on PBS continues Thursday nights through October.