30 June

Now in Cinemas: A Thousand Fires

Thein Shwe and Htwe Tin work their small oil well in the Myanmarese countryside. They dream of helping their son to an education, but he wants to pursue a football career. Tender, atmospheric documentary about a tough life lived with dignity and optimism, and about village life in beautiful Myanmar.

‘My love for my family will never grow old,’ Thein Shwe sings as his infant granddaughter sways in his lap. 55-year-old Thein and his wife Htwe Tin work hard to make a living on the fringes of society. They’re in the ‘oil business’. In their case this means working a small, illegal oil well dug by hand, using only a diesel engine and some tools. It is dangerous and unhealthy work. They turn to hand readers and astrologers for advice about their future.

One of their dreams is to put their son Zin Ko Aung through school. But Zin doesn’t feel much like studying. And he isn’t helping his parents with the oil business either. He mostly likes to play football, at which he’s quite talented. When he is selected in one of Yangoon’s professional youth teams, the family can begin to dream again.

The film was previously shown at the Movies that Matter Festival 2022.