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Watch the Fire or Burn Inside It


In Corsica, a woman chooses to heal the Earth by burning it.

What do you do when your house is on fire? Do you watch it burn? Or do you burn inside it?  

Unlike Greta Thunberg, our protagonist is not interested in trying to put the fire out. This fire is inevitable and will burn whether you like it or not. However, allusions to the climate crisis are apparent throughout this film: planes fly overhead sputtering out toxic waste products; newsreaders talk of billowing wildfires; construction sites and unfinished houses destroy the landscape; and at one point, the line of the mountain is filled with flames save one solitary tree on the horizon. 

Despite all this, fire isn’t blamed or villainised. Rather, fire becomes a character that takes many shapes. A fire can burn and grow. A fire can dry. A fire can dance and rise. A fire can sing. It is the noise the fire makes that permeates throughout the film in sounds of cacophonous saxophones and electric guitars in feedback loops,  “A fire that won’t sing is a fire with no future”. The purifying ashes are not nihilistic, and the rising flames are not glorified, the fire just is. 

The collage of animations, images and sounds in the film constantly change the meaning of fire so that through its multitudinous symbolism, the fire simply exists. Rather than allowing a phenomenon and a word such as ‘fire’ to become synonymous with violence, the filmmakers ask us either to view or to experience: watch the fire or burn inside it.   

Hannah Campbell

Director filmography: Our Holydays will Always Be Better Than Yours (2022), Il faut regarder le feu ou brûler dedans (2022), Bébé Colère (2020), Jessica Forever (2018), Ultra Rêve (2018), After School Knife Fight (2017), Martin Pleure (2017), Notre Héritage (2015), Tant qu’il nous reste des fusils à pompe (2014), Notre amour est assez puissant (2014), Chiens (2012), Prince Puissance Souvenirs (2012), A.B. (2012), Play (2011)

  • Director Jonathan Vinel, Caroline Poggi
  • Country France
  • Year 2022
  • Duration 18m
  • UK Premiere


Bill Douglas Award 1: Soon what remains?

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