A Thousand Fires

Saeed Taji Farouky

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.


Saeed Taji Farouky
Estelle Robin You, Palmyre Badinier, Joram Willink, May Odeh
Country of production
France, Switzerland, Netherlands, The, Palestine
90 minutes
Spoken language
Production company
Point du Jour - Les films du balibari, AKKA Films, BIND, Odeh Films
World Sales
Square Eyes Film
Dutch distributor
Windmill Film