Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from writer/director Peeter Rebane and Roadside Attractions is a story of war and the complication of relationships in FIREBIRD.

It is the 1970’s on a Soviet Air Force Base and friends Sergey (Tom Prior) and Luisa (Diana Pozharskaya) are training on the same base. Sergey is looking forward to the time when his military service ends. That is until he meets Roman (Oleg Zagorodnii), a fighter pilot and the two become friends. Getting to know one another, it becomes clear each wants more.

As their relationship get serious, a report is made and now they know that their lives are in jeopardy. Luisa moves on to the job of secretary to the base commander Col. Kuznetsov (Nicholas Woodeson) and it is he who tries to put a stop to the story. When Sergey’s service is over, he hopes to continue the relationship with Roman, but it is brought to an end.

Leaving, Sergey goes to a performing arts college and starts a life away from both Roman and Luisa. He is surprised to learn that the two are getting married! At the wedding, Roman tries to explain himself but Sergey only knows that their feelings have not changed, and their connection is still strong.

A few years later Roman finds out he has a chance to get away for training, he tells new wife Luisa and their child it will be a few months. Roman goes to Sergey at the theatre where he is performing with the news and a chance for them to spend time away without anyone getting in the way.

When Luisa discovers what has happened the risks are even higher especially with a KGB investigation. Now the danger means choices have to be made and the repercussions are devastating.

Prior as Sergey is a young man doing his required military service and looking forward to what he really wants and that is to be an actor. The only thing that keeps him grounded in finishing is his friendship with Luisa and getting to know Roman. That’s where things get complicated in a country that would rather see the two men punished for their feelings. Prior is strong in this role but does not lose himself in emotions. So well done!

Zagorodnii as Roman is a dashing and handsome pilot who is quickly taken with Sergey. He may know how to navigate a jet but when it comes to living in a country that will not accept the choice of who a person loves, that is more than he can handle. Trying to keep it together, he eventually has no choice but to break things off and do what he is told. Zagorodnii gives his character the pain of following his heart or following the rules.

Pozharskaya as Luisa is thrilled that she is marrying Roman, and they quickly start a family. Her job now is to be a good wife and mother. That becomes difficult when he starts to pull away from her and refuses to recognize the pain he is causing her. Pozharskaya is a lovely character who is also trying to make her way and Roman’s lies are destruction.

Other cast include Jake Henderson as Volodja, Margus Prangel as Major Zverev, Ester Kuntu as Masha, Kaspar Velberg as Selenov, Sergei Lavrentyev as Professor, Markus Luik as Sgt. Janis, Anatoli Tafitsuk as Ivan, Henessi Schmidt as Olga, Kaie Korb as Anna, Deni Alasaniya as Ilya, Jonathan Tupay as Sergey Jr., and Nils Mattias Steinberg as Karamazin.

Roadside Attractions has, since 2003, grossed over $300M and garnered nineteen Academy Award nominations. They have had critical and commercial hits such as MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, BEN IS BACK, BEATRIZ AT DINNER, HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS, WINTER’S BONE and THE COVER as well as so many others. For more information of what Roadside Attractions has to offer please visit

The film premiered at the BFI Flaire: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival, the Moscow International Film Festival, Frameline: San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Durban International Film Festival, Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival, and the Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.

FIREBIRD is a beautiful story set in a country that can be as unforgiving as its weather. Sergey and Roman are caught in a time where one slip out of turn is bad enough but for two men who care for one another, there is nothing that can save them. One step at a time in their relationship brings them closer and closer to a dangerous edge.

Set in the backdrop of a very straight forward military and a war, the story brings in even more depth. The cinematography and costuming are a quiet fourth character in this three-way relationship of the heart. From beginning to end it is a story worth every frame of film and beautifully done.

In the end – it is a fight for love!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.