Now playing in theaters, Firebird is the true story of Sergey (Tom Prior), a young soldier who falls in love with a fighter pilot named Roman (Oleg Zagorodnii). Set in occupied Estonia during the late 1970s, the ambitious narrative boasts inspired work from Prior, Zagorodnii and Diana Pozharskaya. Prior, who also co-wrote and produced the Peeter Rebane feature, talked to Deepest Dream about his Firebird journey.
Firebird is based on Sergey Fetisov’s memoir A Tale About Roman. Tom Prior and director Peeter Rebane spent several years developing the project and honoring Fetisov’s life (he passed in 2017). “It was a really amazing exercise in keeping to the truth of what Sergey went through,” said Prior. “But also making the film as accessible as possible. That was one of the biggest challenges. Because the story, when you read it in its original form, is so idyllic in some ways . . . because of the nature of the love in the story, it seemed like there was no obstacle.”
Real life and fiction are thus interwoven into Firebird’s immersive narrative: “And so we had to draw out more of the obstacles to give this drama and this substance because Sergey’s original book doesn’t go into the danger so much of the world. We had to bring that into a way that all audiences could understand it.”
During our interview I asked Prior about his passion for exploring such destinations as Antarctica, Estonia, and Namibia:
Firebird is now playing in select theaters. My full interview with Tom Prior is below!
On this week’s Find Your Film, we review the Liam Neeson feature Memory and the body horror/thriller Hatching: