Breath

In Estonian, the word for “breath” refers simultaneously to bodily respiration and to the spirit or soul that lies beyond the material world. In this wistful and sensitive character portrait of Francesko, Estonia’s only female chimney sweep, Breath contemplates the balance between spiritual fulfillment and personal responsibility. Donning a traditional black uniform, she is routinely accosted by strangers on the street wishing to touch the brilliant silver buttons of her uniform, considered to be talismans and bearers of good luck. But taking care of her tormented alcoholic mother and her possessive and controlling boyfriend makes Francesko’s filthy and difficult profession a respite from the trials of her personal life.