Dir. Ostap Kostyuk | Ukraine | 2015 | 80 mins | Australian Premiere
Hutsul shepherds have inhabited the Carpathian Mountain ranges for hundreds of years. Observed with great warmth and humour, The Living Fire follows three such men: 82-year-old Ivan, who reflects nostalgically on a long life of solitude, hard work and quiet achievement. Vasyl, 39, a shepherd responsible for the subsistence of his neighbours and survival of his small community, who balances traditional practices with the realization his world is irrevocably changing.
Finally, firmly under his wing is Ivanko, 9, who is being trained in the traditional methods of sheep herding. Depicting at once the seasonal and lifelong cycles of traditional rural existence, The Living Fire is a tour-de-force that questions what stands to be lost as our societies become ever more removed from their natural environments.
Winner: Best Cinematography – Salem Film Festival 2016
Winner: Special Jury Prize - Hot Docs 2015
Winner: Best International Documentary Feature – Hot Docs 2015
Winner: Best Documentary – Olympia International Film Festival 2015