“A hot, hilarious, queer firefighter Fantasia” (Variety)
Direct from Cannes comes a swirling, queer fantasy-musical that flurries together muscle-bound firemen, colonial guilt, explicit sex and environmentalism. Portuguese director João Pedro Rodrigues (AFF jury 2017 and director of The Ornithologist, AFF2017) kicks things off innocuously but suggestively enough in the year 2069, with the dying King Alfredo remembering his youthful idealistic desire to shift from being a prince to becoming a firefighter. But the mode of wry fairytale shifts instead into a gloriously unpredictable, graphic love story between the young prince and a fellow fire cadet, Alfonso, backed by ensemble dance choreography, Mozart, Iberian pop and a chorus line of penises. Despite revelling in its raunch and humour, Will-o’-the-Wisp also allows the aristocrat Alfredo and the underclass Alfonso to grapple with the darker side of their national identity.
“the most fun anyone could have had for 67 minutes in a cinema during the 2022 Cannes Film Festival” (The Hollywood Reporter)
“beneath its pleasurable surface lie many thought-provoking ideas” (Cineuropa)
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