Midnight Releasing artfully combines horror, dark humor, and political commentary in "She Who Must Burn." This 2015 Canadian indie flick is a recent streaming and DVD release.
Sci-fi/fantasy actor Sarah Smyth plays Angela, who is a counselor at a small-town health clinic Her liberal views regarding freedom of choice and other treatments result in the locals considering her anything but an Angela of mercy. Angela openly and proudly living in sin with her boyfriend does not help endear her to her new neighbors.
The drama begins with an opening scene in which a local fundamentalist shoots a doctor at the clinic where Angela works. Incidents that add fuel to the fire are a death that is interpreted as divine retribution for Angela allegedly defying the will of God by doing things such as strongly encouraging a woman to travel to another community to have a "procedure."
Filmmakers Larry Kent and Shane Twerdun stage this tension and the escalating conflict between Angela and her community in the path of a literal storm that also serves as a not-so-subtle metaphor for the situation in the rural community.
The warm front in the form of Angela standing her ground in the form of staying to support the women who need her care and the cold front in the form of the religious leaders who are increasingly annoyed at Angela actively opposing them builds to the point that a tempest in inevitable.
Mayhem ensues when one of the more "exuberant" members of the God Squad causes a death. This leads to a kidnapping, a chase, and a subsequent confrontation surrounding treating Angela like the witch that her foes believe her to be.
The escalation to the point of ignition nicely and stays true to the promise of "Burn." This is especially poignant in the days following the discovery of the plot in Kansas and the carried-out firebombing of the Republican headquarters in North Carolina. All of us are in the path of the mother of all political tempests and there will be (lots more) blood.
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