A fresh restoration of this 1952 Finnish classic, a beautiful and beguiling mix of horror, arthouse and fantasy film shot on location amidst the snowy expanses of Lapland.
Pirita is a bewitched young woman who marries an older, often-absent reindeer herder. Longing for affection, she carries out a sacrifice to empower a local shaman’s love potion and becomes cursed, transforming werewolf-like into a white reindeer by night and drinking the blood of local hunters.
Based on an old Lapp saga, with the shamanism and supernatural elements drawn from local folklore, The White Reindeer was written by Mirjami Kuosmanen who also stars as Pirita. It was the feature directing debut for her husband Erik Blomberg, a distinguished cinematographer who also shot this wonderfully eerie film, the luminous snow-covered landscapes at times recalling the ethnographic films of Robert Flaherty. The White Reindeer was winner of the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and awarded the prize for Best Fairy Tale Film at the Cannes Film Festival by Jean Cocteau’s presiding jury.