The latest by Québecois auteur Simon Lavoie (Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves) follows the lives of two children who, in the wake of their father’s death, gradually come to realize the perverse nature of their upbringing.
Contemporary World Cinema
The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches
"Freely adapted" from Gaétan Soucy's critically acclaimed novel, Simon Lavoie's The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches, the follow-up to last year's daring, prizewinning Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves, is a gripping gothic drama and a harrowing study of religious fanaticism, grief, repressed sexuality, and madness.
Set in rural Quebec in the 1930s, the film follows the Soissons family as they lead an isolated existence, both geographically and psychologically. The father drinks himself blind every night and frequently drags his two children to a makeshift chapel in their huge ramshackle home and delivers decidedly unhinged sermons. The father's sudden death leaves the children to fend for themselves with little knowledge of social conventions or customs. Gradually they begin to question their father's teachings and uncover disturbing family secrets. When one travels to the nearby village, they wind up sparking the wrath and moral outrage of the locals.
Shot in stunning black and white, Girl rivals Revolution in its audacity and intelligence. The film is part horror movie, part scathing social criticism, shot through with a fevered, twisted eroticism that's driven by some truly daring performances, especially by the two young leads.