STARRING: Everett McGill, Ron Perlman, Namir El Kadi Gaw, Rae Dawn Chong, Gary Schwartz

1981, 97 Minutes, Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud

Description: A glimpse of humankind some 80,000 years ago. Using diverse locations in Kenya, Scotland, and Canada, Annaud tells the purely visual story of five tribes (some more advanced than others) who depend on fire for survival. They "steal" fire from nature, but the actual creation of fire remains elusive, lending profound mystery and majesty to the film's climactic, real-time display of fire-making ingenuity.

Quest for Fire is like an extended version of the Dawn of Man sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It tells the tale of a tribe whose only source of fire has died and some members of the tribe is sent on a quest to discover the secret of fire or merely stroll across fire somewhere.

Anthony Burgess (who wrote A Clockwork Orange) especially invented an incomprehensible language for the movie. This science fantasy movie is extremely well-made and simply fascinating stuff. Makes you think a lot about our ancestors, where we came from and how we would cope in a world where the secret of how to make fire is as momentous (in technological terms) as we would regard the moon landing today . . .



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