Home Entertainment Firebird review – story of gay lovers in the Soviet era is Brokeback in the USSR

Firebird review – story of gay lovers in the Soviet era is Brokeback in the USSR

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Made final 12 months however out of the blue obliquely related after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this Estonian-British co-production examines a number of the methods a repressive and homophobic state equipment scars residents with disgrace. Based mostly on a real story in keeping with the opening credit, the setting is the late Seventies when the Soviet Union nonetheless occupied the Baltic nations. Provincial Russian youth Sergey Serebrennikov (performed by British actor Tom Prior, additionally one of many screenplay’s co-authors, together with Estonian director Peeter Rebane and story originator Sergey Fetisov) is doing his nationwide service at a military base in Estonia. He has a coy flirtation going with native magnificence Luisa (Diana Pozharskaya), a secretary on the bottom for a commanding officer, and he’s pally along with his bunk mate Volodja (Jake Henderson). Nonetheless, when Sergey is assigned to function a type of valet to suave ace fighter pilot Roman Matvajev (Ukrainian actor Oleg Zagorodnii), the attraction between the 2 males turns bodily they usually’re quickly making out to Tchaikovsky data and sneaking off to Tallinn to look at a efficiency of Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird, therefore the movie’s title.

Alas, this was a time when homosexuality was outlawed within the Soviet army – although the present state of affairs just isn’t a lot better – and an nameless supply ideas off the native KGB officer, that means that Sergey and Roman have to cover their love away. Sergey’s service involves an finish, and he strikes to Moscow to coach to develop into an actor, discovering a extra bohemian circle that lets him hold the closet door ajar if not totally open. Just a few years go by and in basic melodrama style, Roman exhibits up once more, simply unable to stop Sergey (as they are saying in Brokeback Mountain), regardless that he has married and fathered a son within the meantime.

Finally, it’s a slightly unhappy story, not in contrast to Brokeback given the interval setting and closeted-love theme. However director Rebane, although competent sufficient, is not any Ang Lee. Prior and Zagorodnii definitely have romantic chemistry, however the dialogue is commonly greater than somewhat stiff and there’s one thing weirdly off about films the place characters communicate English with each other as a substitute of the language the characters are alleged to be talking in, on this case Russian. You may see why the film-makers selected to do it this fashion, however it makes the movie really feel old school and clunky. That’s a disgrace as a result of the movie’s exploration of affection, braveness and the worth of talking your fact is as well timed because it’s ever been, and for Russians significantly.

Firebird is launched on 22 April in cinemas.

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