A very original portrayal of a story that is almost true on the one hand and yet is also almost based on an archetypal melodrama. The film focuses on the 15-year-old adolescent girl Livia. She lives in a village in rural Var (part of French Provence). Locations in films are seldom without meaning, but the scorching dry midsummer Var is a second protagonist in this case.
It is summer holiday time for Livia and she sets out with her horse to terrorise the surroundings in her pubescent anger. As in a western, she criss-crosses the sleepy village. Maybe from anger and boredom, but in any case with great perseverance, she turns an older married man into the object of her desire. Jean, a faithful husband and father and dedicated member of the voluntary fire brigade, doesn’t have much idea of what to do with the girl’s passion.
The director is an experienced documentary maker and this can be seen from her film. In its realism and authenticity, Ça Brûle hardly has any parallels within the domain of the feature film. The maker is also averse to artificial or fake solutions. That is obvious from the beginning, but at the grand finale, when the whole area is consumed in a fierce forest fire (which does not give away the plot), it almost becomes tangible. A French critic wrote that the heat radiates from the screen and in this case that is hardly a metaphor. (GjZ)