A gorgeously shot, deeply strange, hugely atmospheric black-and-white trip though a tale of magic and malice in folkloric rural Estonia.

In this tale of love and survival in 19th century Estonia, peasant girl Liina longs for village boy Hans, but Hans is inexplicably infatuated by the visiting German baroness that possesses all that he longs for. For Liina, winning Hans’ requited love proves incredibly complicated in this dark, harsh landscape where spirits, werewolves, plagues, and the devil himself converge, where thievery is rampant, and where souls are highly regarded, but come quite cheap. With alluring black and white cinematography, Rainer Sarnet vividly captures these motley lives as they toil to exist, but asks if that existence is worth anything if it lacks a soul?

Reviews

This midnight-movie classic in the making uses ancient Estonian folk tales to create something shockingly unexpected. Both gravely serious and demonically funny, it’s meant to knock audiences off balance. Mission accomplished.
November never stops being a visual trip.