Firebird Movie Review


Written by Peeter Rebane and Tom Prior

Directed by Peeter Rebane

Starring: Tom Prior, Oleg Zagordnii and Diana Pozharkshaya. 

Love blooms in unexpected places

Set in the Soviet Armed Forces during the Cold War, Sergey a troubled young private is counting down the days until the end of his military service. Sergey (Tom Prior), dreams of being on the stage and of being an actor. He spends his days on base in Estonia with his friends, including Luisa (Diana Pozharskaya), who secretly harbours feelings for Sergey. But, those feelings aren’t returned. 

BFI Flare - Review: Firebird (2021) - NerdSpan

Everything is turned upside down when fighter pilot Roman ( Oleg Zagordnii) arrives on the base, desperate to prove himself. A chance meeting between Roman and Sergey changes everything. The pair discover they share a mutual love of photography and theatre. Though Sergey finds himself in the middle of Luisa and Roman. He develops feelings for Roman and similarly so does Lusia, but Roman only has eyes for Sergey. 

Fear of being exposed

Roman and Sergey embark on a secret love affair. Keeping it not just from Luisa but from the KGB. Roman is reminded by higher officers on bass that relations with another man would equal five years in a hard labour camp and end his career. The pair separate in fear of being discovered and years pass. Sergey whilst flourishing at acting school receives a surprise visit from Luisa with even more surprising news. She is to be married, to Roman. There is so much heartbreak and pain for everyone within this story and their pain is all interlinked and shared. 

Love under the radar 

Firebird is stunningly filmed and edited. The composition is considered and immensely effective. This may be a period film, but the story it’s telling is still a contemporary story. There is such close detail in the world, that the filmmaker and the crew have replicated. That being said, some of the CGI of the planes etc is a little weak. However, the performances from the actors more than makeup for it. 

Firebird - Exudes style, emotion and tenderness - Cinerama Film Online

A film about love

This is not only a tale of forbidden love but Firebird illustrates the suppression of so many things that many took for granted. Like a love of the arts, desires to be an actor or even just going to parties with friends. Firebird also highlights the paranoia that must have been rife amongst the young people growing up in those circumstances. Yet despite the tense backdrop, Firebird is a film about love. 

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