November: Rainer Sarnet’s Estonian Fable

Oscilloscope Laboratories announced that it has acquired North American rights to Rainer Sarnet’s NOVEMBER ahead of its 2017 Tribeca Film Festival premiere.

The film is based on Andrus Kivirähk’s novel Rehepapp.

Oscilloscope will open the film theatrically later this year.

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 must ask if existence is worth anything if it lacks a soul?

About the acquisition, filmmaker Rainer Sarnet said, “NOVEMBER is based on Estonian fables where the characters are mainly motivated by greed. I was afraid our story would be too specific to the self-irony intrinsic to Estonians. But I don’t think it is news to anyone that we have all been living in a time similar to the one in our film—a pragmatic world that is driven by greed. Together, we look for a way out, for something beautiful to feed our souls. For it is one and the same longing that lives deep in the souls of old time Estonians and modern day Americans.”

O-Scope’s Dan Berger said, “NOVEMBER is one of the most unique and stunning films to come along in some time. It’s equal measures beautiful love story and balls-to-wall bonkers-ass folk tale. It keeps you rapt, guessing, and intrigued from its first frame to its last.”

The film was produced by Katrin Kissa from Homeless Bob Production (Estonia) and co-produced by Ellen Havenith from PRPL (The Netherlands) and Łukasz Dzięcioł from Opus Film (Poland).