Set against the bleak landscape of Depression-era Eastern Ontario, this film tells the story of Joanna McVeigh and her struggle to endure a harsh and unforgiving life. Epileptic since childhood and past the age of marriage, Joanna lives alone on a run-down farm with Frank, her alcoholic father. Bound by a promise to her dying mother and haunted by a dark and shameful childhood secret, Joanna illuminates her loneliness with secret imaginings and the pleasure of her one great gift, the ability to set fires with her mind.
Joanna's desire to break free from the confines of her lonely existence leads her to forsake her promise and embark on a strange journey of self-discovery. The film is a subtly disquieting tale of guilt and redemption.