Saturday, 24 April 2021

Like a House on Fire

This is an interesting little film available via streaming services about mothers abandoning their daughters. It starts with Dara, played by the very capable-looking Sarah Sutherland, who turns up at her home two years after going missing, leaving daughter and husband not knowing her whereabouts.

What happened to her was never really explained fully. There are references to mental health institutions and postnatal depression but nothing really confirmed. She finds that her husband has a new woman in his life, who is pregnant, and the film goes on to explore the dilemmas and difficulties present between the three/four of them as they try to understand, work things out and find a solution which might include a mother forming a relationship with her daughter, who has forgotten her.

Dara rocks up at her dad's house, who is also shacked up with a woman (the only actor I actually knew - Amanda Brugel from The Handmaid's Tale) and her daughter. There are no sons to be seen in the whole of this setup, just mums and daughters. There are resulting uncovers about Dara's mum, who had similarly gone missing with some sad and reflective outcomes.

It's a gentle tale but one which makes you think. It's thoughtfully shot on a budget, if you can see past the constant held-hand camerawork. The cast all perform very well and it is engaging and moving as a story, created and directed by Canadian Jesse Noah Klein.

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