Tribeca Film Festival Review 2017: ‘NOVEMBER’ is a striking folklore fantasy.

Immerse yourself in 19th century Estonian folklore – feel the mud and cold, the fear and joy of the peasants living side-by-side with cows, werewolves and kratts, the farmers’ helpers, created out of old tools, hay, and animal bones, and brought to life by the devil himself. Director Rainer Sarnet elevates his film above mere period drama, sprinkling the fable of peasant girl Liina’s doomed romance with Hans with generous amounts of humor, and enriching its earthy fairytale milieu with beautiful black and white cinematography. Sarnet’s attention to detail, in particular in capturing the farmers’ dynamic and expressive faces, humanizes and adds a warm depth to the environment as Liina and Hans ponder the great mysteries of life, love, and the existence of the soul, looking for meaning and explanations anywhere they can.

 

November is everything a non-cinephile might think of when it the phrase “foreign film” is haphazardly thrown about. That is exactly what makes this film so intriguing. With its stunning black and white cinematography and its unapologetic folklore elements, the story delves into the question of living a life with or without a soul. The wonderfully weird characters and themes, including death, witchcraft,  and the devil himself, all make November one completely engrossing cinematic experience. Oscilloscope Laboratories acquired North American rights to Sarnet‘s film ahead of its world premiere in the international narrative category. Below you can find the trailer, and while it does not yet contain English subtitles, you quickly grasp the tone of the film. We will, of course, keep you updated on release dates for this unique selection.

FILM INFO
CAST & CREDITS
  • Director:
    Rainer Sarnet
  • Screenwriter:
    Rainer Sarnet
  • Cinematographer:
    Mart Taniel
  • Editor:
    Jaroslaw Kaminski
  • Composer:
    Jacaszek
  • Producer:
    Katrin Kissa
  • Co-Producer:
    Ellen Havenith, Lukasz Dzieciol
  • Cast:
    Rea Lest, Jörgen Liik, Arvo Kukumägi, Katariina Unt, Taavi Eelmaa, Dieter Laser

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

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