Elena Leeve

Elena Leeve

Screen Time: 50%
Role: Helena 14 years old
Age: 14 years old
Sari Havukainen

Sari Havukainen

Screen Time: 40%
Role: Helena 8 years old
Age: 7 years old
Inka Vogt

Inka Vogt

Screen Time: 30%
Role: Irene 8 years old
Age: 8 years old
Unna Kitti

Unna Kitti

Screen Time: 25%
Role: Girl
Age: 11 years old
Elsa Saiso

Elsa Saiso

Screen Time: 20%
Role: Irene 14 years old
Age: 16 years old



Fire-Eater (Canada: English title)


Rating: 8.83 (6 votes)
Directed: Pirjo Honkasalo
Country: Finland, Sweden
Language: Finnish, German, Spanish
Genre: Coming of Age, Drama, Historical


The twin sisters Helena and Irene are born in Helsinki during World War II. A few months later their mother, Sirkka, leaves the girls in the care of their grandmother, an old communist, and runs away with a German soldier.

Their life under the protection of their grandmother and the teachings of communism ends first with the death of Stalin, then with that of their grandmother. The girls are eight years old when they are put in an orphanage.

Their mother shows up at the orphanage in the company of Ramon, a Spanish trapeze artist. They are on a talent search for a German circus. Ramon trains the reluctant Irene during circus tours in Central Europe. She becomes the trapeze star of the circus. The hard work soon exhausts Irene and she falls from height, as if on purpose.

Helena has secretly learned the art of fire-eating. Now she is burdened with both her mother and her sister. The violent life, however, separates the three from each other.

In the present-day Helsinki the middle-aged Helena has looked into her past, ceased to hate and now, for the first time in her life, voluntarily accepts responsibility for another human being.





Related Links