There are things that are indescribable and unspeakable when the disasters that affect our lives are beyond comprehension. Certain fundamental experiences seem irreducible to any form of expression. So how do we convey their intensity? How do we put them into words? Here, we’re talking about the war inflicted on the Ukrainians for over a year. Daryna Mamaisur is Ukrainian and currently lives in Portugal. O Fumo do Fogo, somewhere between a film diary and an essay, sketches with admirable reserve a path towards the possibility of communicating. The director gathers together images in the same way she gathers her thoughts, to find herself. As she learns the Portuguese language, she invents a poignant visual alphabet made up of varied materials brilliantly put together: vibrant close-ups of the drawings in her textbooks, a naïve world of blue, yellow and red, photos and recordings sent to her from Kiev like tragic postcards, her own archives, and footage of language lessons. The prospects of her loved ones under bombardment is answered by the absurd and innocent simplicity of the phrases recited in Portuguese. As she tentatively approaches the Portuguese language, Mamaisur does the opposite of stammering. On the contrary, it’s in the elementary precision of words tasted for the first time in a foreign language that their full meaning may lie. Some words resonate more than others – zangar means “anger”; zunia translates as “buzz”, evoking the sound of war. In the poetic and poignant puzzle of O fumo do Fogo, these words become an exile’s personal details.