Firecrackers (2018) by Jasmin Mozaffari
Review by Lydia Creech
LYDIA: This was the last film of the festival that I had sought out specifically because it is directed by a woman. The story is about two best friends who live in an impoverished, rural town, and they dream about escaping together for a new life in the Big City (NYC, specifically). They don’t fit in--Lou is bullied for being queer, and Chantal is a mixed girl--and moreover they have a hard time for not wanting to fit in. Unfortunately, the night before they leave, an encounter with Chantal’s abusive (ex?)boyfriend go wrong, which sets off a string of obstacles.
The thing I liked the most about this movie was how it gets at the way girl best friendships are weird. Lou and Chantal are incredibly close and have built a world that excludes other people. But when other people or their own problems--that they can’t share--intrude, it rattles everything, and they fight and get disappointed in the other. Lou seems a little bit in love with Chantal, and Chantal seems to judge Lou for not being more pleasant or less combative. Neither can figure out how to get out of their predicaments on their own, and the compromises they have to make feel that much more tragic for being painful reality checks.
In the end, I’m not sure how much of an uplifting picture it is (even if they do get away to The City, I was awfully concerned about how they would manage to live), but it was relatable and I was glad to have seen it.