Tom Prior - FIREBIRD

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FIREBIRD Firebird's Out Star Tom Prior on the Cold War Gay Romance's Ongoing Relevance Firebird Herrki Erich Mirela/Roadside Attractions The actor and cowriter of the sweeping true queer love story in authoritarian Russia chats with The Advocate about the film's subjects' courage. With its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has been a constant presence in the news this year, and the freedoms of Russian citizens are again a subject of discussion. At the same time, along comes the film Firebird (out on April 29), about a forbidden gay love affair between two Soviet Russian military officers at the height of the Cold War. Shot in Estonia and released in April, Firebird (based on Sergey Fetisov’s memoir, The Story of Roman) tells the story of Sergey, played by out British actor Tom Prior. He’s a troubled young private counting the days until his military service ends. But his life is upended when the daring fighter pilot Roman (Oleg Zagorodnii) arrives at Sergey’s base. A dangerous and touching decades-long love story between the two men follows. “Because of the circumstances of Russian society during the Cold War, Sergey and Roman have to navigate a line between love and friendship,” says Prior, who also cowrote and produced the film. “As the walls close in on them, they risk their freedom and their lives in the face of an escalating KGB investigation and the fear of the all-seeing Soviet regime.”

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