A repressed young woman uncovers her family’s dark secrets in The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches. In 1930s rural Quebec, a young woman (Marine Johnson) and her brother (Antoine L’Écuyer) are raised alone by their authoritarian father (Jean-François Casabonne). After their father hangs himself one night, the two siblings are left to fend for themselves, with the young woman beginning to doubt everything she has come to believe about her life.
The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches is the latest films from Quebecois filmmaker Simon Lavoie (Those Who Make Revolutions Halfway only Dig Their Own Grave) and is freely adapted from the novel by Gaétan Soucy. The story follows an androgynous protagonist, who was raised by her father to believe she was a boy, even though it becomes apparent that this is not the case. After her father’s sudden death, the girl has to contend with her still devout brother and the fearful local villagers. In addition, the young woman begins to remember a traumatic event from her past.
The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches can be best described as a rural Quebec drama, with some elements of horror, particularly in the second half. The film features some gorgeous looking black and white cinematography, though the plot moves at a slow pace that requires you to piece together the overall story that includes themes of an abusive family and repressed memories. In some ways, The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches has a similar feel to The Witch, except without any supernatural elements.