A gay Cold War romance promises to thaw our hearts this winter. Following a successful film festival run, Firebird—a film set in the 1970s about two Soviet military officers falling in love—will begin a rollout of theatrical releases in January.
The film follows Sergey (Tom Prior), who is serving his two-year military conscription (which was mandatory at the time for Soviet men) at an airbase when he meets a young fighter pilot named Roman (Oleg Zagordnii). Their furtive romance immediately puts their lives in jeopardy, as the eyes of KGB are around every corner. And a love triangle involving the Commander’s own personal secretary, Luisa (Diana Pozharskaya), further threatens to expose them.
The official synopsis reads: “Firebird is a touching love story set in the Soviet Air Force during the Cold War. Sergey, a troubled young private, is counting the days till his military service ends.
“His life is turned upside down when a daring fighter pilot, Roman, arrives at the base. Driven by curiosity, Sergey and Roman navigate the precarious line between love and friendship as a dangerous love triangle forms between them and Luisa, the secretary to the base Commander.
“Sergey is forced to face his past as Roman’s career is endangered and Luisa struggles to keep her family together. As the walls close in, they risk their freedom and their lives in the face of an escalating KGB investigation and the fear of the all-seeing Soviet regime.”
The film is based on the true story of Sergey Fetisov, as detailed in his memoir ‘A Tale about Roman.’ In addition to starring in the film, the screenplay is co-written by Prior, along with director Peeter Rebane.
Firebird has been making rounds on the film festival circuit since early this year. Critics and audiences have responded well: it received an honorable mention for Best First Feature at the Frameline San Francisco festival, won Best Narrative Feature at FilmOut San Diego, and received the audience award for Best Feature Film at the Austin Gay & Lesbian film festival.
In addition to its ongoing international film festival appearances, Firebird is coming to theaters in the UK on January 28, 2022.