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November 2017

November | Listopad


As film industry reviewers, we say November is one of our non-favorite movies. Please VOTE!

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This is a film about souls: the desire for ownership of a soul, of selling it, and living without one.

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About November 💬

The story is set in a pagan Estonian village where werewolves, the plague, and spirits roam. The villagers' main problem is how to survive the cold, dark winter. And, to that aim, nothing is taboo. People steal from each other, from their German manor lords, and from spirits, the devil, and Christ. To guard their souls, they'll give them away to thieving creatures made of wood and metal called kratts, who help their masters by stealing more. They steal even if their barns are already overflowing. Stealing is an obsession that makes the villagers more and more like the soulless creatures they command, the kratts. The main character of the film is a young farm girl named Liina who is hopelessly and forlornly in love with a village boy named Hans. Her longing makes the girl become a werewolf and jump into an ice-cold pond. She's ready to die in the name of love.

The pragmatic farmers are faced with a question: is the life that they've won through so much toil worth anything if it lacks a soul?

Estonian pagan and European Christian mythologies come together in this film. Both mythologies look for a miracle; for an ancient force that gives one a soul. This film is about souls - longing for a soul, selling your soul and living without a soul.


I was drawn to the book because of the animism, the belief that all things have a soul. Everything has a soul and this is the central theme of the film - selling one's soul, living without a soul and longing for a soul.

The story mixes Estonian fairy tales with Christian mythology. Fairy tales have a fantastical enchantment of beauty and longing. There are ghosts and supernatural forces, and everything is possible. Mortal man is connected to a world greater than himself, which gives him infinite perspective and strength. Fairy tales are spun from the rites of dead religions, where the central image is one of judging a person's soul in order to glean the person's worth. In this story, Estonian fairy tales have been taken apart and reconstructed so that the pragmatic and greedy motives, as well as the darker and uglier side of human nature of the characters, are revealed. Far from being just a satire about stealing, the story touches something much more primordial. It is comical not for the stealing, itself, but for the explicitly numb and calm way that people steal.

NOVEMBER is no museum folklore, it is a description of a black conscience and the love story in it is more of a soul yearning to escape from that kind of a material world.

Stylistically, it is like a careless, wide brush stroke that spills out over the edges a bit, full of dark comedy, romance, magic, and horror.

The visual concept is based on Estonian photographer Johannes Pääsuke's farmer photographs from the beginning of the 20th century. The main, visual idea was to present the environment as documentary fact and avoid ethnographic embellishments. Ramshackle buildings, wet, muddy farmyards, low ceilings, and dirt floors, with farm animals in the living quarters. Those photos show wretchedness of the farmers' lived, and yet, the light in his photos somehow makes it all magical and unreal. High contrast between dark and light, lucid streaks of light next to pitch-black darkness.

The film's fairytale-like fantasy elements are balanced with environments that are as realistic as possible with natural-looking costumes and people from the countryside playing next to the professional actors.

Rainer Sarnet

November Movie Details 🎥

Directed by

Rainer Sarnet

Writing Credits

Rainer Sarnet (Screenplay)

Andrus Kivirähk (Novel ''Rehepapp'')


Rea Lest

Jörgen Liik

Jette Loona Hermanis

Arvo Kukumägi

Dieter Laser

Heino Kalm

Katariina Unt

Taavi Eelmaa

Meelis Rämmeld

Jaan Tooming

Klara Eighorn

Sepa Tom

Music by

Michal Jacaszek

Cinematography by

Mart Taniel

Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Romance

Countries: Estonia, Netherlands, Poland

November Official Trailer

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