Fire in the Mountains
India I 82 mins I Drama I 2020 I Hindi w/ English subtitles
Chandra and her husband, Dharam, run the Swizerland Homestay, an inn perched above the only road in a small Himalayan village. The terrain poses a problem, as they must transport their son Prakash down the mountain in his wheelchair for doctor's visits and school. Though Chandra believes Prakash needs more medical attention, Dharam refuses. He'd rather pursue a ritual he believes will rid them of a deity’s curse, the cause of Prakash’s affliction. Tensions rise as their worldviews collide and erode their familial ties.
The debut feature from writer-director Ajitpal Singh is a searing portrait of the power dynamics at play between tradition and modernity in one family’s foundation. With handheld camerawork and seamless tracking shots, Singh captures the beauty and hardship of their daily lives. Fire in the Mountains is bolstered by Vinamrata Rai’s commanding performance as Chandra, a woman unafraid to stand her ground and find ways forward for her family and village.
About the Artist
Ajitpal Singh was born in Punjab, India. When he was eight years old, his father ran a cinema hall, and Singh would sneak into the theater to watch Bollywood films. Life took a bitter turn when, due to insurgency, the family suffered huge losses and migrated to Gujarat, where his father worked as a security guard.
Still, the filmmaking bug never left him, and after doing some odd jobs, he started writing screenplays.
FIRE IN THE MOUNTAINS is Singh's feature debut and premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition.
Writer/Director: AJITPAL SINGH
Producer(s): AJAY RAI
Cinematographer: DOMINIQUE COLIN
Editor(s): PARIKSHHIT JHA
Sound Designer: MOHANDAS VP
Production Design: MAUSAM AGGARWAL
MAYANK SINGH JAIRA
Casting Director: TARAN BAJAJ
Sound Recordist: KANISHK BHOKLAY
Original Soundtrack: ARNAUD VAN VLIET