The Fire That Burns

Synopsis: Two boys in their early teens in a strictly-run pre-WWII Catholic School form a firm friendship which is troubled by an abbot who is obsessed with the younger of the students.
Genre: Drama
91 min


A new school term brings anxiety.

Will our boys have changed?

A good year so far.

God blesses our work.

As a whole, the standard is high.

Behavior is good.

The comfort this school brings...

must not allow us to forget that...

in spite of an increase

of 17 communions on last October...

faith is, as always, our weak spot.

Know what I'm doing.

Want, and until now have had,

a healthy academy.

Healthy not only morally

but also in the mind...

for a Christian cannot

compromise high-mindedness.

We are a family...

We must feel at ease.

If Fires

but one fly, dying in the perfume...

"will spoil its fine aroma."


I'm waiting for Souplier, Sir.

Friends from another section

are forbidden.

And he's bad company.

Everybody complains.

His teachers, classmates, parents.

He promised to change.

He promised you.

So you did see each other?

Briefly, at my father's funeral.

I'm a boarder now.

Oh, no!

We won't see each other much.

Only on Sundays at 10 o'clock,

when school breaks.

When I'm away

this is what miss...

the smell of the school.

Guess what?

You know Maisonfort.

The one we call Warbler.

He said:
"Scratch my barnet."

"Your what?"

"My hair."


"Because it makes me purr."

you purr?"

"Yes, purr inside."

His legs are fat.

You're no judge.

He has great legs.

Like the Romans had.

- No, he's clumsy.

- Clumsy!

He's winning the race!

Sevrais, Linsbourg,

what about your Greek class?

These ink stains!

Always hot and grubby paws!

Hair never combed, never!

It's my knee that hurts.

It's nothing. Just a graze.

Use your handkerchief.

Is it clean'?

Not very.

Ink-stained, of course.

Take mine.

Give it back to me after prep.

But don't tell anyone

lent it to you.

There'd be a fuss.

Wash your knee in the fountain.

He must learn.

It won't happen again, will it'?

No, Sir.

Good evening.

Monsieur Prial. Someone will call...

for this tomorrow, it's the article

they want for The Living God.

Look forward to reading it.

Well, answering the question

"Who is God?"

in 9 pages of double spacing...

But metaphysics allow one

to say many things.

Good night, Monsieur Prial.

It will be cold tonight.

Your handkerchief, Sir.

Your friendship with Sevrais

must end.

But sir, no one says anything

to the other boys.

Never mind why we occasionally

turn a blind eye on...

All right, I'll explain.

As everyone knows,

take an interest in you.

Why should my efforts be spoiled

by this boy hardly know?

Know him by repute.

- Sevrais's the best!

- The best?

He's intelligent, bright...

they say he's noble-minded,

but he boasts...

he is independent, sure of himself.

As for you, you're trouble.

You met Sevrais in the hall today.

Only for a moment, know.

It was when the day-boys go home.

What did you talk about?

- Nothing.

- Naturally.

Twice this year,

you were to be expelled...

twice persuaded the Superior

to keep you with us.

My intervening constantly

makes me look foolish...

Are you listening?

Yes, Sir.

Repeat what said.

You said... that don't

pay attention during mass.

Said nothing of the sort.

Please stop fiddling

with the things on my desk.

You know I'm badly brought up.

Yes, know that.

I'm tired of you, Souplier...

terribly tired of you.

You are a pitiful soul.


if you're worth the trouble.

Promise this time...

I'm tired of your promises too.

Say that I'm with the headmaster...

and cannot be disturbed at present.

Where were we'?

Yes, I'm tired

of your promises.

The other times, just promised.

Now swear it.

Know only too well.

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Didier Decoin

Didier Decoin (born 13 March 1945 in Boulogne-Billancourt (Seine)) is a French screenwriter and writer awarded the Prix Goncourt in 1977. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Fire That Burns" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 4 Oct. 2022. <>.

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