Fire in the Mountains

Grand Jury Prize ~ World Cinema Dramatic
Sundance Film Festival
An entrancing reverie of Himalayan life in 'Pather Panchali' in the age of Airbnb and TikTok.


Fire in the Mountains

In northern India, a breathtakingly beautiful Himalayan community attracts tourists by commingling South Asian and Swiss Alps aesthetics. Debut filmmaker Ajitpal Singh tells an unconventional story of feminist strength while “accentuating the [region’s] spectacular exteriors and wide-canvas nature shots” (Variety). One local woman competes with her neighbors for business while battling the strictures of patriarchy, a local infrastructure from hell, and religious superstitions. She saves money, uses feminine wiles to subvert the corrupt powers-that-be, and piggy-backs her son up and down the mountainside to medical appointments with condescending doctors. In the end, our heroine’s tightly wound grit must find release… in triumph, or madness, or both.

“A warm-hearted, unsentimental portrait of a struggling family in the foothills of the Himalayas. Singh constantly underlines the ironies and realities for Indian families living far from city centers. There is an echo of some John Ford classics… or the films of Satyajit Ray or Hirokazu Kore-eda." – Allan Hunter, Screen Daily

“Breathtaking vistas of green hills, waterfalls, and snowy mountaintops…contrast with the high-stakes conflict the ensemble cast carefully weaves.” – Carlos Aguilar,

“An entrancing reverie of Himalayan life in PATHER PANCHALI in the age of AirBnb and TikTok, FIRE IN THE MOUNTAINS emphatically dramatizes the struggles that locals face in a place where tourists come to play.” – Christian Blauvelt, Indiewire

“A powerful feminist tale. Deeply empathetic.” – Variety

“An enigmatic and intoxicating experience. Remarkably ambitious. Hypnotic and captivating. Masterfully atmospheric.” – The Film Stage

Not Rated
Drama, Women and Film
Ajitpal Singh
Ajitpal Singh
Vinamrata Rai, Chandan Bisht, Harshita Tiwari, Mayank Singh Jaira, Sonal Jha
Nominee, Grand Jury Prize ~ World Cinema Dramatic, Sundance Film Festival
A.O. Scott, New York Times

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