Trash Fire

Director: Richard Bates Jr.
Screenwriters: Richard Bates Jr.

Institute History

  • 2016 Sundance Film Festival


Owen and Isabel’s love story simmers with spiteful rage, but unfortunately, for everyone, Isabel is pregnant with Owen’s child. In order to prove to her that he could become a stable father, Owen agrees to reconnect with his only living relatives at Isabel’s request. The couple takes a trip to visit his perversely devoted grandmother and his sister Pearl, who was severely burned in a fire, to finally bury the hatchet. But sometimes the ties that bind can cut off all circulation.

Writer/director Richard Bates Jr. (Excision, 2012 Sundance Film Festival) gloriously returns to our Midnight section with a new troubling portrait of love painted in miserablist black humor and horrific consequences. His committed cast fully embrace this nasty world, hurling one-liners at each other that land like a slap to the face. Uncompromising in attitude, Bates remains one of the truest voices in American cult cinema. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll be scarred for life.

— Charlie Reff

Screening Details

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