Oliver Laxe’s slow-burn Cannes gem combines arresting landscapes with the smouldering inner life of a reticent ex-con whose return to his mother’s home in the Galician countryside sparks tension.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2019
“Nestled in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section was the best film to be screened outside of the Competition. Fire Will Come is a major step forward for Galician director Oliver Laxe. His third feature tells the story of a middle-aged man (soft-spoken nonprofessional Amador Arias) released from prison after serving a sentence for arson. He returns to live with his mother in the countryside, but his presence causes unease for those that remember the damage of his crime. Pastoral scenes are familiar but beautifully rendered. The drama is mostly interior, and the local population is skeptical but also touchingly empathetic as the introverted protagonist attempts to reintegrate into society.
It’s a quiet movie overflowing with feeling; there is the constant underlying threat of a destructive impulse simmering unchecked inside the human heart. Visceral images of a raging forest fire are overwhelming and the crackling of its flames drown out the cinema. Fire Will Come may bear the ‘slow cinema’ label for much of its run time but it nonetheless demands to be seen on the big screen, executed with greater vision than any comparable blockbuster that employs incendiary CG effects.” — The Playlist