Six years ago, we met Sergey Fetisov and made a promise to him that we would do everything in our power to share his memoir, The Story of Roman, with the world. Inspired by Sergey's words, we created Firebird, the breakout independent film that captures the true-life romance between Sergey and Roman. Set on an Air Force Base in Soviet occupied Estonia, they risk everything to be together at the height of the 1970's Communist rule. Firebird went on to global success, and we have had the opportunity to share Sergey's life story with millions of people. Now, we are fulfilling the second half of our promise by publishing Sergey's memoir.
The Story of Roman has so many incredible moments which we were unable to squeeze into the film. We had to carefully choose which pieces of his life to include and which to omit. Even if you have seen Firebird, this book offers many new moments from Sergey's life. We also added the social and political context of the time into the film, as Sergey wrote his book in the early 1990s, for Russian audiences who were more than familiar with the realities of Soviet life - fear, repression and persecution of minorities.
It is our wish to uplift LGBTQIA+ voices and stories to ensure they are heard around the world. Sharing first-hand memoirs like Sergey's is one of the most powerful ways to support our community and to incite positive change. In a world that is currently pushing back against the LGBTQIA+ community with new anti-queer policies, telling these true stories has become more vital than ever. We have seen the change Firebird has created around the world, and are sure that publicising this book will support the message: “love is love.”
We trust you will be as moved by Sergey's life story as we were.
Peeter Rebane & Tom Prior
Filmmakers of Firebird