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The 10 best films of the first film festival “Spirit of Fire – 2024” according to PEOPLETALK

In 2024, the main theme of the First International Film Festival “The Spirit of Fire”, held in Khanty-Mansiysk from March 23 to 26, was the special language of national cinema. The program included films from sunny Indonesia and Kyrgyzstan, steppe Kazakhstan and China, colorful India and Brazil, and the snowy regions of Russia – Yakutia and Ugra. The Fashion Vibes visited the film festival and selected the most interesting films from the competitive and non-competitive programs. It’s really worth watching.

By the way, you can see the list of Spirit of Fire film festival awards here.


“Bauyrina salu”, direction. Askhat Kuchirinenkov (2024), Kazakhstan

A frame from the movie “Bauyrina salu”

The winning film, which will appeal to both art enthusiasts and classic story lovers, is “The Spirit of Fire – 2024”. The picture depicts daily life in the settlement, focusing on a 12-year-old boy named Ersultan, who lives with his grandmother. She helps him with the housework, and the rest of the time he works in the salt mines to save money for a trip to his parents. After all, according to Kazakh tradition, firstborn children are left in the care of their grandparents, so the children grow up without parental affection. The sudden death of his beloved grandmother allows him to return to his home, where he feels like a stranger. It is very difficult for him to establish relationships with his family, especially his demanding father.


“Tegar”, dir. Anggi Friska (2022), Indonesia

A frame from the movie “Tegar”

Tegar has a dream: he wants to go to school and make friends, in short, he wants to be like all normal children. However, due to his disability, he needs his family’s help. On his 10th birthday, a boy shares his greatest wish with his grandfather. Although he has no arms or legs, he can paint, cook, and even ride a bike using only one limb. This touching story about courage will captivate you with its humanity and teach you not to give up on the path to the most difficult goals.


“Aiyy Kuo”, dir. Ayaaaal Adamov (2024), Russia (Yakutia)

A still from the movie “Aiyy Kuo”

A touching Yakut epic about two sisters. The youngest is St. He studies in St. Petersburg and unexpectedly learns about the death of his older sister, who left behind a daughter. He returns to a remote Yakut village to accompany his sister on her last journey with her nephew. The night after the funeral, the spirit of the deceased visits the student. They clearly have a lot to discuss, but not in people’s language, but with the help of traditional toyuk songs that use the kylysah technique. As a result, instead of returning to the city, the younger sister takes the place of the older one and takes care of her husband and daughter.


“Black”, direction. Vika Degteva (2024), Russia

A frame from the movie “Black”

How far are we willing to go to help a victim? 26-year-old Sima accompanies a foreigner living on the outskirts of the city. The next morning, he discovers that he is part of a cult and tries to escape with his newfound friend. However, on his difficult return journey, he is faced with a difficult choice that will change his understanding of what good and evil are.


“Like Father and Son”, dir. Bai Zhiqiang (2021), China

A frame from the movie “Like Father and Son”

Destiny brings together a street vendor and a street child. The boy created chaos in the tent house and destroyed the belongings. The man now intends to find his father to return the money, but this turns out to be a difficult task. The headman of the village states that the boy’s parents went to the city to work a long time ago and that his son grew up without knowing his parents. However, the victim plans to get compensation at any cost and sets off with the “hostage”. They will have many adventures together and become really close. After all, before his soul had time to harden, the man lost his beloved son… And now they both want the same thing – love and family warmth.


“ERROR 404”, dir. Tynchtyk Abylkasymov (2024), Kyrgyzstan

A frame from the movie “ERROR 404”

A young programmer tests defendants with a lie detector. He doesn’t trust others, he only trusts the objective logic of the AI. And for good reason, because her first marriage cannot be called successful, and the only thing that brings her joy is communication with her son. I also play tennis occasionally. He tries to control the world, but when he falls in love, everything turns into chaos. The girl seems pretty precious, but she has a difficult relationship with her boss, who has skeletons of his own in his closet. Will the hero be able to trust his feelings or will he just stick to the lie detector?


“Property”, dir. Daniel Bandeira (2024), Brazil

A frame from the movie “Mulk”

A film in the spirit of Lars von Trier’s Dogville. The people, in despair, kill the property owner who exploits them. “This shouldn’t have happened,” her brother and his wife convince Teresa, but the new owners of the large estate are reluctant to listen to the workers. To avoid punishment, residents hold them hostage. They just need to collect their passports and some valuables for the trip, but not everything goes as planned.


“Unstable”, dir. Ilya Malanin (2024), Russia

A frame from the movie “Unbalanced”

Engineer Yuri does not believe in medicine, but falls in love with pharmacist Tatyana and subsequently becomes the father of her “special” eight-year-old son, Kolya. The child has a rare disease: Muscle fatigue syndrome, which causes the child to suffer from memory loss and is confined to a wheelchair. While doctors unanimously recommend sending the boy to a special boarding school, Yuri begins his treatment: regular training and playing the piano bear fruit. Growing up, Kolya goes to Beijing with his stepfather for a music competition, but still has the feeling that he is “abnormal”. In China, she must understand a lot about herself and eventually find love.


“In a Circle”, dir. Maysam Hassanzadeh (2022), Iran

A frame from the movie “In Circles”

Musician Milad is not only a fan of Freddie Mercury, but also his copy in appearance. He cannot live a day without composing songs. The only thing that torments Milad is why his beloved Mehsa left him. Trying to correct the course of events, he goes to his sister and a psychotherapist. Maybe she left him because he didn’t print out his thesis. Or was it the notes of his music? Why was he screaming? To understand this, the hero watches the video recordings made by his lover over and over again, but it turns out that some of the recordings were deleted for some reason. How can you be happy if you have memory loss due to illness?


“Snow Flower”, dir. Ganjendra Ihire (2024), Russia (Ugra) – India

A young couple, an Indian and a Russian, die under tragic circumstances. They still have a little daughter in Khanty-Mansiysk. After the funeral, the son’s family leaves Delhi for Ugra to pick up the girl. They will have to experience many exciting events in snowy Russia. By the way, “Snow Flower” was the first cooperation experience between Russia and India in the field of cinema within the framework of BRICS.

Source: People Talk

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