image+nation culture queer

Firebird en


Peeter Rebane | Estonia | 2021 | 107 min | ENGLISH


In collaboration with

Based on Sergey Fetisov’s memoir The Story of Roman and co-written by Tom Prior, who plays the protagonist, Firebird has the real-life drama of Cold War-era history and the swooning romance of a love relegated to the shadows, always threatening to burn through the dark.

On Haapsalu Air Force Base in Soviet-occupied Estonia, Sergey is swept off his feet by Roman (Oleg Zagorodnii), a dashing and kind lieutenant, while fending off the romantic assumptions of his female comrade and friend, Luisa (Diana Pozharskaya). Clandestine encounters risk more than expulsion, as sinister forces remind the two that five years imprisonment in a hard labour camp await those who engage in homosexuality – the pliability of flesh juxtaposed with the implacability of military rule. The KGB, a malfunctioning plane, Roman’s career aspirations, and Sergey’s “fantasy world”: all threaten to down the lovesick couple, as their need for one another is tested by the passage of time and whisks them to urban Moscow, sun-drenched shores, and beyond. Shakespeare reminding us, “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in our selves.”

in-cinema screening at Centre PHI | NOVEMBER 24 – 7PM

Q+A / Peeter Rebane + Tom Prior

Meet the filmmakers Peeter Rebane and Tom Prior of feature film FIREBIRD. An interesting and insightful talk about their work, the why and the how and more, with Michael Belcher.