Writer-director Ajitpal Singh’s debut feature Fire in the Mountains is a slow burner of a domestic drama with a brilliantly explosive finale. The Himalayas are the backdrop for caustic disagreements between a husband and wife at odds over how best to care for their disabled son – the former advocating for medical treatment and the latter for religious intervention. It’s a classic story of tradition versus modernity that also neatly weaves in themes of corruption, gender-based discrimination and generational cruelty.

As the mother carries her son down the town’s moss-covered steps – the replacement road promised for years by the state not yet constructed – the relentless physicality of domestic care is leavened by moments of tender stillness. Life for this family is like the landscape in which they live: unforgiving, punishing, but undeniably beautiful.

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