The directorial debut of Finnish cinematographer Erik Blomberg, The White Reindeer is one of world cinema’s criminally under-seen masterpieces. A vampiric fairy-tale set amongst the starkly beautiful fells of Finnish Lapland, Blomberg combines an almost documentary filming style with avant-garde experimentation to produce a dreamy art-house horror film without compare.
A newly-married young woman, Pirita (Mirjami Kuosmanen), becomes frustrated and lonely as her husband, a reindeer herder for a small Arctic village, spends much of his time away from home in devotion to his work. Desperate for affection, she visits a shaman who offers a potion that makes her an irresistible object of desire, but there is a terrible cost. Pirita becomes a bloodthirsty shapeshifter who lures men out into the barren wilderness where she consumes them.
With its portrayals of gender inequality, societal pressures and sexual anxiety (represented through animal transformation, echoes of Jacques Tourneur’s Cat People…), The White Reindeer is a timeless classic that deserves to be rediscovered and recognised as a defining film in the horror and fantasy genres. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the film from a new 4K restoration for the first time ever in the UK.
1080p presentation on Blu-ray from a 4K restoration completed in 2017 by the National Audio-visual Institute of Finland
LPCM audio (original mono presentation)
Optional English subtitles
Feature Length Audio Commentary by critic and film historian Kat Ellinger
Religion, Pleasure, and Punishment: The Portrayal of Witches in Nordic Cinema a new and exclusive video essay by film journalist and writer Amy Simmons
With The Reindeer Erik Blomberg s 1947 documentary short
Colour Test Footage
1952 Jussi Awards Ceremony featurette