Quest for Fire (1981)
"...and Prometheus said, 'Let me give you fire,' and humanity saw that it was good..."
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud.
Starring: Rae Dawn Chong (Ika), Nameer El-Hadi (Gaw), Everett McGill (Naoh), Ron Perlman (Amoukar).
A peaceful tribe of prehistoric humans, unable to create fire, lose their only source of flame due to another tribe's attack. Three of the tribe leave their home to search for a new source of fire to bring back to their people before the cold climate can take its toll. Their journey brings them not only into contact with other tribes of prehistoric humans at different stages of evolution but also advances their own humanity, as well as teaching them to be "prometheuses" in their own right.
An absolutely fascinating film. Those who are partial to history and anthropology will especially enjoy this. An honest, un-PC look at the origins of the species and the development of humanity through loss, tragedy, hardship, hostile elements and the beginnings of laughter, morality, community service, leadership, friendship and of course, love. A wondrous feat of body language performances as there is no truly discernable language/dialogue spoken. This is a well done, well made film all around.
For those into scenery gazing the beauty of the locations (Canada, Iceland, Kenya, Scotland) alone are worth a rental fee.
Definitely worth a buy (the Region 1 DVD has two commentaries, one with the director Jean-Jacques Annaud, one with producer Michael Gruskoff, Rae Dawn Chong and Ron Perlman).
First published in 2004 on The Perlman Pages.