I'm on Fire Unclassified 18+
Viewer Advice: Strong impact domestic violence themes.
Making mixtapes becomes a means of survival for a troubled 12-year-old Italian-American in this ferociously energetic, 80s-set coming-of-age story.
In the sun-bleached suburban Nevada of the 1980s, Danny is caught between his warring father and mother (Jamie Lynn Sigler, The Sopranos); his only solace are the mixtapes he crafts using his bedroom boom box. With I’m on Fire, MIFF Accelerator Lab alumnus Michael Spiccia, whose film Yardbird (MIFF 2012) screened in competition at Cannes, takes us beyond nostalgia and deep into the emotional terrain of a turbulent childhood. The director combines gorgeously evocative cinematography with explosively rhythmic editing and a jukebox of hits – including Cyndi Lauper, The Beach Boys, Joan Jett and, of course, Bruce Springsteen, whose smash gives the film its title – to build a richly moving portrait of adolescence, domestic strife and the power of music.