Quest for Fire

Scope and Content

The series contains a screenplay (by Gerard Brach), preliminary production information, cast and unit lists, and promotional material for the film, along with a set of 8 film stills by the photographer Ernest Haas,

Administrative / Biographical History

Quest for Fire (French: La guerre du feu) is a 1981 film adaptation of the 1911 Belgian novel by J.H. Rosny-Aine. Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and adapted by Gérard Brach, the film is set in Paleolithic Europe, 80,000 years ago, and tells the story of a primitive tribe’s efforts to guard their precious fire, something which they know how to keep aflame, but do not know how to create. When a neighbouring tribe attack the flame is lost, and members of the Ulam tribe embark on a dangerous quest to find it again.

In 1980, Burgess was recruited by the producer Michael Gruskoff to invent the language - subsequently referred to as Ulam - for paleolithic man and Desmond Morris was asked to devise the body language. When it was released in 1981, Quest for Fire became one of the most successful films with which Burgess was involved that made it to cinemas.