A taciturn man called Amador returns after several years to his birthplace in the mountains of Galicia, having served a prison sentence for a serious case of arson. Only his mother is pleased to see him – and that might also be because she can use his help tending the livestock. The rest of the villagers are suspicious about the attempts of this alleged pyromaniac to reintegrate into their community. The title suggests what will inevitably happen: a fire breaks out and Amador gets the blame. But is he really the perpetrator?

Director Oliver Laxe, who hails from Galicia, is not interested in making a whodunnit. Rather, in this meditative, pensive story he shows what’s at stake for this vulnerable ecosystem where man and nature are still largely unaffected by the modern age. Will the hard existence in this impoverished rural community by consumed by flames – or are the bulldozers of the property developers a much bigger threat?

Original title
O que arde
Filmmaker
Oliver Laxe
Country
Spain, France, Luxembourg
Year
2019
Medium
DCP
Length
85’
Language
Spanish, Galician
Producer
Andrea Vázquez García, Andrea Queralt, Xavi Font, Mani Mortazavi
Production Company
Tarantula, Kowalski Films, 4A4 Productions, Miramemira SL
Sales
Pyramide International
Writer
Oliver Laxe, Santiago Fillol
Cinematography
Mauro Herce
Editor
Cristóbal Fernández
Production Design
Samuel Lema
Cast
Amador Arias, Benedicta Sánchez, Inazio Brao, Elena Fernández, Nuria Sotelo, David De Poso, Alvaro De Bazal