Wildfire (2021)

  • drama
  • 1h 24m

Cathy Brady’s debut feature film is an emotionally stirring exploration of two sisters — and a country — struggling to emerge from a traumatic past.

Having disappeared from her quiet border town in Northern Ireland a year prior, Kelly (Nika McGuigan) suddenly shows up on the doorstep of her sister, Lauren (Nora-Jane Noone). Born within a year of each other, these “Irish twins” share a deep bond despite their differences: Kelly, the wild one, makes Lauren’s married life and factory job look like pillars of conventionality. However, with the intense sisterhood reignited, Kelly’s desire to unearth their history is not welcomed by all in the small town, as rumours and malice spread like wildfire, threatening to push them over the edge.

Brady frames this present-day family drama within the history of The Troubles and the current debates around the return of a hard border. By foregrounding how the past impacts the present, Brady boldly opens up conversations around mental health and the generation in Northern Ireland that grew up in a ‘post-conflict’ society. Where Wildfire’s quiet power truly lies, though, is in the unshakable and utterly compelling performances of its two leads, McGuigan, who sadly passed away from cancer last year, and Noone.


Cathy Brady