Fire in the Mountains

(India/2021—directed by Ajitpal Singh) 

In northern India, a breathtakingly beautiful Himalayan community attracts tourists by co-mingling South Asian and Swiss Alps aesthetics. One local woman (Vinamrata Rai) competes with her neighbors for business while battling the strictures of patriarchy, an infrastructure from hell, and the religious superstitions of her husband. She saves money in hopes of building a road in the village, uses her wiles to subvert the corrupt powers-that-be, all while physically piggybacking her wheelchair-bound son up and down the mountainside to medical appointments with condescending doctors.

In the end, our heroine’s tightly wound, unswerving dedication to her son—and justice—must somehow find release… in triumph, madness, or both. Best Director Prize, New York Indian Film Festival; Best Picture, Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles; Grand Jury Prize Nominee, 2021 Sundance Film Festival. In Hindi with English subtitles. (84 minutes)

“An entrancing reverie of Himalayan life in India from a self-taught filmmaker… A haunting cinematic experience.  –Christian Blauvelt, IndieWire