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La guerre du feu
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Reviews & Ratings for
Quest for Fire More at IMDbPro »La guerre du feu (original title)

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91 out of 98 people found the following review useful:

Unique prehistoric survival adventure.

8/10
Author: jckruize from North Hemis
22 April 2002

Ignore the idiotic negative comments of the naysayers. This is a great film. It boldly creates a world unlike any we've seen before, with dedicated actors going well beyond the call of duty in portraying a life and death struggle for survival under the most harrowing conditions imaginable.

Featuring Claude Agostini's splendid wide-screen cinematography of remote, rainswept landscapes and a rich score by Phillipe Sarde, this movie will take you on a compelling journey that, if nothing else, will clarify the routine creature comforts of our civilized world in a manner more direct than anything you might have previously experienced in a theater.

Jean-Jacques Annaud and collaborators tell their tale with dramatic simplicity and virtually no dialogue, but the points made are powerful. Humanity survives, and will prevail despite our weaknesses and faults. Overall, a remarkable, life-affirming work.

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81 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

"...and Prometheus said, 'Let me give you fire,' and humanity saw that it was good..."

10/10
Author: Tressa Breen from United States
26 April 2005

A peaceful tribe of prehistoric humans, unable to create fire, loose 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 discernible 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.

Ron Perlman is one of the three male leads/would be prometheuses. Watch the body language! Someone did research! A difficult and impressive (first movie) performance.

Definitely worth a buy (the DVD has two commentaries, one with the director Jean-Jacques Annaud, one with producer Michael Gruskoff, Rae Dawn Chong and Ron Perlman).

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87 out of 103 people found the following review useful:

Very underrated.. one of my top 20 Favorites.

9/10
Author: John Gold (jakegol@spectra.net) from Binghamton NY
31 January 1999

Many of my friends laugh at me when I mention this movie. I don't know what makes so many of them hate it so.. Perhaps the lack of understandable dialogue? Too much like thinking to understand what is going on? Whatever it is, I am one of the few I know who feel this is a very underrated movie.. I know it is not accurate from a scientific perspective... The time line is all messed up.. but so what? I sat there in the theater just thinking.. "suppose live in our distant past WAS something like this movie. Fire=Life=Fire. Along comes a superior tribe and I realize that I could summon the flames at MY WILL. How powerful I would feel.. Almost G-d like! The photography is lush and there is a tinge of humor when the backward tribe learns to laugh. I enjoyed the story and the acting... everything. Rent it! See it twice if you must. Just maybe... we ARE looking back at ourselves.

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65 out of 74 people found the following review useful:

A journey through the essence of the human spirit.

10/10
Author: Gustav-11 from Massachusetts
15 June 1999

Jean Jacques Annaud's "Quest for Fire" caught me by surprise. I have always been enthralled by movies that take place in prehistoric times, but I never expected this movie to be filmed with such consistency. This film captures an innocent adventure, in which three men (Naoh, Amoukar,& Gaw) are selected by the tribe to recapture their snuffed out fire. The journey brings them into many trials of existence, which we modern beings very seldom come in contact with. At points, there scenes that capture a sense of humor that is so basic to our modern way of thinking, but for these characters they are just discovering such things like the concept of laugher. At other points of the film, these brave men encounter situations that show the true brutal world of the survival of the fittest. The manner in which these characters search for fire gives the viewer a true love for the characters courage and heroic nature. For if they do not succeed, it is surely the end of their tribe and for them. The fire holds the key to survival with its warmth, cooking function, and most of all its ability to ward off stalking predators. Fire is power for beings at this point in time. Just as knowledge is for modern human beings.

This film succeeds in it's proportions,direction, settings, music, great special effects,and acting. The acting especially is something to take notice of, since there is no recognizable language spoken. The preparation for such a role as this these is amazing in its own right. "Quest for Fire" will lead you into the reality of what once was and capture the essence of the human spirit.

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67 out of 87 people found the following review useful:

They say there's no accounting for taste...

8/10
Author: nescient from Cleveland, England
12 July 2004

I saw this film (on VHS rental) so long ago I might have been in it. My (ex) wife & friends thought it was stupid - "What's going on? Nobody's saying anything". I found it mesmerising and have been looking for it ever since (car boot sales, Ebay etc).

OK, if you've two adjacent brain cells, you'll spot the anachronisms and the cheap effects, but credit where it's due for originality and balls - to the director and the backers.

If you're sick of hype and tripe, find it. If you're hooked intravenously to Hollywood pap (as 99.999% of the world's population seem to be) then give it a miss.

Just my 2p.

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55 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

The best cavemen movie ever!

8/10
Author: elcopy from United States
7 June 1999

This is an extremely overlooked film many people should learn about. First, it tells you a very complex story without a single line of dialog successfully.

Second, the story is universal: Every civilization on earth can pick up this film and understand it, because it goes to the most basic, primitive issues of a species (mainly, survival). Third, it makes the beginning of man interesting. Fourth, it reminds us we were once as savage as any other animal on earth.

Fifth, it's like no other movie you've seen before. That one I can guarantee you.

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43 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Remarkable

10/10
Author: August1991 from Montréal
23 February 2004

I recall when this film was released. If memory serves, the hype concerned the efforts to turn an elephant into a mastodon using make-up and an actress running around nude. In other words, the film in my mind fell into the 'One Million Year BC' category and I ignored it.

Later, I learned who Annaud was and admired 'The Name of the Rose' for its direction, its translation of a difficult book and its effort at realism. Finally, I rented 'Quest for Fire' on DVD and saw it on the big home screen. (In fact, I watched it several months ago and I'm commenting now because it remains in my mind.)

Experts can quibble about the realism. But for me, this film makes an intelligent and credible effort to present a world of 80,000 years ago. In this, it raises good questions about who we are as a species. Human genetic code has not changed in that time and any one of the beings portrayed would be perfectly capable of using a computer as I'm doing now. Nonetheless, they lived in a world without numbers, without prices, without trade, without written language and without means to create fire. Everyone alive today had an ancestor who survived those conditions. 'Quest for Fire' is a must-see for anyone curious about the human condition.

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38 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

The best cave man movie ever!

9/10
Author: Gil Polanco (gil@jeelbear.com) from United States
18 February 2005

Okay, there haven't been many cave man flicks and they were all bad except for Quest For Fire. Yes, the mammoths looked a bit like Mr. Snuffolopogus and some of the makeup jobs could've been done better but it's still a great movie.

The story line was captivating and the characters were well-developed. Even though there were no subtitles, I could still understand everything that was being said because of the way the movie was put together.

This flick has it all: Action, adventure, comedy, and romance. I loved it.

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32 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

Anthropoids galore!

10/10
Author: Don Muvo from Encinitas, California
12 January 1999

One of the elements of this film I liked the most was the realistic depiction of the diversity of anthropoid types that existed in those times. This was executed beautifully and skillfully in the depiction of several diverse tribal groups, explaining the well deserved Oscar for makeup.

When Naoh finds the love of his life in one of these other tribes, it is because there is an element of compatibility both between the cultures and the two individuals supporting the attraction they share. Some of the other groups depicted don't do as well in the tribal intercourse and cultural sharing department, as they tend to eat the individuals from other tribes that they encounter.

Another elements of realism that scores big with me was that there are attacks by wild animals as well as by anthropoids. I also liked the language used by the main tribe, there was a suggestion that the language was evolving right before us as the travelers, having been sent on a quest for fire, returned with quite a bit more to talk about.

This is one of my favorite movies, possibly the most favorite.

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24 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

In Search Of The Past

Author: Lechuguilla from Dallas, Texas
30 January 2007

Raw and at times brutal, this story follows three primitive warriors who make a cross-country journey in search of that most precious of natural elements ... fire. In prehistoric times, having fire meant survival from the cold and protection from predators.

In this film, facial gestures, hand movements, general body language and mannerisms of the characters are all consistent with conclusions about early man, as a result of thorough anthropological research. In lieu of modern language the film's dialogue consists of some 350 invented words and sounds, also based on research. In addition, an important part of the film is attention to detail in costumes and makeup, for which the film won several awards. All of these technical cinematic elements combine to create a reasonably accurate visual and audio impression of mankind as it existed some 80,000 years ago.

As you would expect, the film is shot entirely in rugged, remote locations, resulting in landscapes that are stunningly beautiful. Background music is generally low-key and ethereal, like what you might hear in a sci-fi film. There's lots of flute sounds, which reinforce the simplicity of the time period.

For all its technical achievements, this film's main weakness may be the screenplay. When you take away the artifacts of modern life, you're very limited in the kind of story you can tell. And that clearly is the case here, with a plot that drones on with a monotony and repetition that can be tedious, and at times difficult for some viewers.

Although the story's entertainment value may be marginal, "Quest For Fire", with its low tech cinematic style, is interesting not only for its technical elements but also for its over arching theme of modern human's continuity with prehistoric man, based on the element of fire.

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