Quest for Fire, which was
released in 1982, is the story of pre-historic tribes in
Paleolithic Europe who are all on the quest to get fire,
either by learning to create it or steal it from others.
The movie received mostly positive reviews, and won a
few Cesar Awards as well as an Academy Award for
Makeup. The film was a commercial success at the box
In this movie, the tribes
are the Ulam, Ivaka, Kzamm, and Wagabu. The tribes
represent the Homo species thought to exist at the
time: Home erectus, Homo neanderthalensis, and Homo
sapiens, each in various stages of development. The
movie begins with the Wagabu tribe raiding the Ulman
tribe to steal their fire. The Ulman tribe do not know
how to make fire, but instead obtained it through
natural means (volcano?), and learned to keep it alive.
In the process of escaping the Wagabu, the Ulman fire
tender drops the flame and it goes out. Figuring that
without fire they will die, the Ulman elder sends out
three Ulman men on a new quest to find fire.
The Ulman tribesmen
encounter adventures along the way, but eventually they
are able to steal some fire from the Kzamm tribe. In
the process of escaping the Kzamm, they end up with a
female Kzamm prisoner from the Ivaka tribe, named Ika,
who tags along with the Ulman. At one point, one of the
Ulman tribesmen, Noah, goes with Ika her tribe. The
Ivaka are much more advanced than the Ulman (they know
how to create fire), and Noah is taught their ways. In
the end, Noah and Ika return to the Ulman tribe with
their new knowledge and skills, and the Ulman’s embrace
the new advancements in technology.