At The Ballet (Film Thoughts: Firebird)

Peter Rebane’s ‘Firebird’ is a sweeping romantic war melodrama, the kind you think they don’t make anymore. It’s lush, sentimental, and thrilling, and it’s a gay love story for the ages. It has triumph and heartbreak. For my money, it’s the perfect movie for Pride Month.

It’s also the true story of Sergey Fetisov, based on his memoirs ‘The Story of Roman.’ It tells his story, the story of his love affair with his new lieutenant. Tom prior stars (and also co-wrote the screenplay) as Sergey and he is magnificent here, with his leading man looks and soulful eyes. You can feel the pain in his eyes throughout the film and in the most poignant ending scene, expresses all the film’s emotions wordlessly. I feel he is destined to be a big name.

Some might not like the overt sentimentality of the film, but I didn’t mind it. Sometimes you just need a weepy love tale, and this one fits the bill. There is a sequence here when Sergey first sees Stravinsky’s ‘Firebird,’ and the scene made me weep in its sheer beuaty and honesty. I hope this gets a wider release and fans discover it.

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