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  • Writer's pictureDelven Shaw

FIREBIRD aspires to be a gay classic


A film festival favorite around the world, including Chicago’s Reeling Film Fest, FIREBIRD aspires to be included in the list of best gay films. It may be too conventional and predictable for some, but nevertheless it is a true story well told.


Tom Prior stars as Sergey, a young soldier anxious to complete his military service so he can begin acting training. When a veteran fighter pilot Roman (Oleg Zagorodnii) arrives at his base in Estonia, a romantic spark ignites which will change all involved. The trips the lovers take off base – especially to the ballet – provide a great break from what you would expect from life on a very homophobic military base. The ballet provides a powerful and lovely closing image for the film.

Prior, along with Peeter Rebane and Sergey Fetisov, is credited with the screenplay, and he has created a fantastic vehicle for his talents, although his unfortunate wig in his days as an actor was a distraction for me. Peeter Rebane directs this movie which has lavish and handsome sets, a huge cast, a couple sexy encounters, and a sweeping soundtrack.

Those who are looking for new queer stories represented on our screens will not love FIREBIRD which is not as deep as other recent classics like WEEKEND (2011) or GOD’S OWN COUNTRY (2017). It can still be seen online at the Seattle Queer Film Festival, and Image Nation Film Fest. It will no doubt show up on a major streaming service soon. So, if you are looking for a good story with handsome leads, make sure to keep your eyes and heart open for FIREBIRD.



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