Ring of Fire (Uguns aplis), dir. Signe Birkova, 68’, Latvia, 2021
Four actors, unwanted by any of the national theatres in Riga, establish their own independent theatre troupe "Quadrifron", setting up a stage in the stables of the legendary Riga Circus. They change their lives and confront the circus building’s darkly ambiguous legacy of animal performance. Combining 16 mm film and analogue Betacam formats, the film documents the creativity exuding from the four actors as they put together performances and compose songs. It captures their strength and exhaustion, the things they hide and their desperate attempts to live authentic and creative lives. Famous clown Slava Polunin also illuminated the “Ring of Fire" with his presence. For him, the concept of happiness and creativity is one and the same.