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She Who Must Burn

World Premiere
  • Canada
  • 2014
  • 90 mins
  • DCP
  • English
Hosted by Director/Co-Writer Larry Kent, Actor/Co-Writer Shane Twerdun & Co-Producer Andrew Dunbar

She Who Must Burn - Teaser from Elad Tzadok on Vimeo.

This latest effort by Larry Kent, Canadian film’s veteran iconoclast filmmaker, is definitely one hot time. A health counsellor who runs a planned-parenthood clinic out of her home, Angela becomes the target of local anti-abortion fanatics, led by Jeremiah Baarker. Jeremiah and his bible-beatin’ kin, Caleb and Rebecca, believe that procreation is the highest purpose for humankind, and that Rebecca’s recent miscarriages are God’s punishment for allowing Angela to continue her practice. Peaceful demonstrations turn personal and dangerous once Jeremiah discovers his own battered and bruised wife, whom he caught using birth control, sought refuge in the clinic. After Angela refuses to close up shop, Rebecca receives a sign from above and realizes that they must purify the town with the most powerful cleanser of all — fire.

Kent has been making movies and infuriating uptight Canadian cultural guardians for more than 50 years, and he’s showing no signs of even slowing down. Since 1962’s THE BITTER ASH, Kent has operated on the fringes of mainstream Canadian film, frequently clashing with censors and even drawing police attention for a slate of daring films including HIGH (1969), his ode to free love and drugs. Following Kent’s late career renaissance with THE HAMSTER CAGE (2005) and EXLEY (2011), SHE WHO MUST BURN sees the feisty 78-year-old director as engaging as ever, taking a clearer genre direction in this tightly crafted thriller that quickly veers into the deep, real-life horrors of religious fanaticism. The film revels in the raw, sometimes brutal emotion that Kent has always been a master of, only this time with the disturbing and brutal imagery to match. As in the past, Kent’s fiery politics and spirit infuse the film, but SHE WHO MUST BURN also reveals a smouldering dark side sure to surprise viewers.

— Paul Corupe