Estonian Film Director Rainer Sarnet’s “November”

    NovemberA 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 must ask if existence is worth anything if it lacks a soul? Sarnet elevates his Rabelaisian folktale into a tragedy illustrated by haunting, metaphorical imagery.”

    November” is a 2017 Estonian fantasy drama film directed by Rainer Sarnet, based onAndrus Kivirähk’s novel from 2000 Rehepapp ehk November” (Old Barny or November).

    November” was selected as the Estonian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards.

    PRODUCTION: (Estonia-The Netherlands-Poland) A Homeless Bob production, in co-production with Opus Film, PRPL. (International Sales: Homeless Bob Productions, Tallinn). Producer: Katrin Kissa. Co-producers: Ellen Havenith, Lukasz Dzieciol.

    CREW: Director, writer: Rainer Sarnet, based on the novel “Rehepapp” by Andrus Kivirähk. Camera (b&w): Mart Taniel. Editor: Jaroslaw Kaminski. Music: Jacaszek.

    Cast: Rea Lest (Liina), Jörgen Liik (Hans), Arvo Kukumägi (Rein), Katariina Unt (Luise), Taavi Eelmaa (Ints).

    Rainer Sarnet’s earthbound fairy tale occupies a dreamscape somewhere between the teeming canvases of Brueghel and the existential agonies of Bela Tarr’s films.

    And it’s funny, with a sly salaciousness all its own. Something shockingly unexpected. Both gravely serious and demonically funny, it’s meant to knock audiences off balance. Mission accomplished. A fairy tale, a cautionary tale, a magical dreamland, a dark comedy, a feverish yet cold nightmare.”

    Estonian gothic: inside the dark, folkloric world of Rainer Sarnet’s “November

    Film Review: ‘November’
    “A gorgeously shot, deeply strange, hugely atmospheric black-and-white trip though a tale of magic and malice in folkloric rural Estonia.”

    Rehepapp ehk November” (Old Barny or November) by Andrus Kivirähk was translated into French, Russian, Finnish, Norwegian, Latvian and Hungarian.

    Andrus Kivirähk has very often used elements of folklore and mythology in his work, deforming them into the absurd and grotesque. The plot of “The Old Barny or November” originates in national mythology, which Kivirähk treats rather playfully and freely, combining different elements without any restrictions.”

    Estonian Literature Centre

    Rainer Sarnet (born March 3, 1969 in Rakvere ) is an Estonian film and theater explorer.

    “In his 49 years of existence, Rainer Sarnet has directed 5 films, lived with 3 women, accumulated about 10 friends, passionately loved Fassbinder, directed theatre plays by Przybyszewski, Gorky, and Jelinek, been deemed a wonder child at film school and had got the opportunity to defend this ambitious title only 15 years later with his film “November”.

    Selected filmography


    Idioot / The Idiot (2011)
    Kuhu põgenevad hinged / Where Souls Go (2007)
    Pauli laululaegas / Goodbye my Love (rövidfilm / short, 1999)
    Libarebased ja kooljad / Ghosts and Werefoxes (rövidfilm / short, 1998)
    Merehaigus / Seasickness (rövidfilm / short, 1993)


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