When Justin Kurzel’s Nitram was announced, the cry “too soon!” was quickly raised on social media, the notion being that 25 years was not a long enough period between mass murderer Martin Bryant’s killing spree in Port Arthur and a film about the incident. If Fires, the ABC’s new six-part anthology series, attracted a similar hue, it was muted, which is odd considering the show is set during the tragic and devastating Black Summer bushfires of 2019-2020, which saw a good part of Australia’s eastern bushland go up in smoke, along with a lot of property and lives.

The received wisdom behind “too soon!” is that fictionalising tragic events could be seen as disrespectful or triggering for survivors and the bereaved, but there’s another, more practical reason, as a creator, to give yourself some distance: you may not yet have the perspective needed to encompass the cultural, social, political and personal impact of the event at hand. So it is with Fires, which takes a period of not just national but global significance and uses it as a backdrop for some pretty ordinary dramatics.

Read more at Flicks.com.au.

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