The first chapter is dedicated to ancient Bearese of memory. The second act portrays the visit of Elias Lonnrot. Part three re-enacts an ancient smelting and blacksmith ritual set to Veljo Tormis’ cantata ‘curse upon iron’.
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The first half is a straight, somewhat dry documentary chronicling the journey of a 19th century Finnish folklorist across Estonia to gather ancient songs and tales, the director popping up onscreen now and then to explain things. Then, as if relieved to have gotten the facts out of the way, he says All right, documentary section over, let's get down to business - and it swerves into very strange territory.