THE YOUNG ARSONISTS
Ontario, 1987. With her brother Seamus dead and her beloved family farm seized, 14-year-old Nicole’s world is bleak. When her wilful best friend Veronica decides to turnNicole’s abandoned farmhouse into their headquarters for the summer, they are joined by friends Amber and Sara. Together, they create a secret escape from their troubled home lives, the isolation of the rural landscape, and stifling patriarchal constraints. The girls’ relationships deepen and their emotional connection becomes physical when their menstrual cycles synchronize. In a ceremony that solidifies their new bond, they vow to protect each other and the house at all costs. When their world is threatened by a development corporation, the girls’ solidarity and relationships are tested to an extreme, and painful secrets erupt. THE YOUNG ARSONISTS explores adolescent ferocity and emotional trauma in the face of abuse, poverty, and death, as these young girls struggle to find a safe place in the world. This is the debut feature from internationally acclaimed visual artist Sheila Pye, known for her large-scale photography and video installations that are part of permanent collections at the Smithsonian Institute and Art Gallery of Ontario. Pye has crafted an intimate, striking psychological drama with elements of magic realism, revealing a world of both squalor and beauty.