Director: Sharon Maguire
Screenwriters: Sharon Maguire

Institute History

  • 2008 Sundance Film Festival


Based on a novel released two days before the London bombings, Incendiary is a contemporary portrait of England that deftly interweaves tragedy, sex, politics, and the grief emanating from a suicide terrorist attack on a London soccer stadium. Directed with dispatch and clarity by Sharon Maguire (in a complete departure from her previous feature, Bridget Jones’s Diary), Incendiary is a multilayered chronicle of one woman’s life (she is superbly played by Michelle Williams) and the way it is utterly transformed in the course of a single afternoon.

What might have been just a momentary tryst with a sexy journalist (Ewan MacGregor) who lives across the road is forever changed by the broadcast of the terrorist explosion and her flash of realization that her husband and son, who are attending the match, are probably victims. While she tries to deal with her guilt and despair, her life unravels even further as she seeks answers and a degree of consolation and discovers new relationships in a world turned upside down, one that both reveals and covers up the truth about the day’s events.

As much a commentary on modern life and politics as a personal chronicle, Incendiary is an ever-evolving, wonderfully unpredictable cinematic experience that captures the ambivalent nature of today’s world—moral contradictions and all—even as it searches for a road to personal salvation.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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