Run time: 1h 24min
Director: Jamil Dehlavi
The dialogue and plot exposition in Born of Fire at times feel listless and cursory, as though the director felt the script was just an obligatory tool existing solely to guide the viewer from set piece to set piece. And honestly, given how beautiful this film looks in places I’d find it hard to disagree with him on that. The salt flats and rock formations of Turkey are as incredible a setting as any I’ve seen in film and truly feel otherworldly.
At first the film seems to be playing a giallo riff (lavish apartments, psychic visions, endless glasses of whiskey, a layman forced to play amateur sleuth in a foreign land), transposing the trappings of the genre into a purely supernatural setting before developing into a full-blown hallucinatory arthouse piece in the vein of Zulawski or Jodorwosky.
This type of “artsploitation” film doesn’t really seem to be made these days, somewhat a product of the 70s and 80s, and this film certainly feels like a relic of that time. Though not perhaps as successful in executing its vision as The Holy Mountain or On the Silver Globe, Born of Fire is still genuinely evocative in the atmosphere it creates and doesn’t deserve to languish in obscurity as it seemingly has since its release date…
Also know as: Die Macht des Feuers,