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The Substance Of Fire is another film which, like Shine, looks at the impact of the Holocaust on a family many years later. Young Isaac Geldhart hides in an attic during the war, in the company of hundreds of books. Fifty years on, Isaac heads an eminently respectable publishing house in New York. His wife has recently died and things are starting to crumble. He`s obsessed with publishing an unmarketable four-volume account of Nazi medical experiments but refuses to have anything to do with a potential best-seller, written by his son Aaron`s lover. The pig-headed, self-destructive Isaac - played by Ron Rifkin - has to face a challenge from his three children: Aaron - Tony Goldwyn; Martin - Timothy Hutton - who`s a teacher at Vassar and in remission from Hodgkin`s disease; and Sarah - Sarah Jessica Parker - a Children`s TV host...The Substance Of Fire was adapted by Jon Robin Baitz from his own stage play and directed by Daniel Sullivan, his first directorial effort for the screen although he wrote While You Were Sleeping. The film is a painful but rewarding journey through a man`s decline into madness, and the response that draws from those nearest to him. Ron Rifkin brings a certain majesty to his portrayal of Isaac, this man has been damaged, he feels guilty for having escaped the camps where the rest of his close family died; it`s no wonder he`s obsessed with redressing the evil done, but it`s also understandable that his children, while wanting to protect their father, don`t want to sink with him. The fine performances from all the cast make this a solid film; it`s not perfect and it doesn`t supply easy answers. As a family saga, it leaves you demanding just a bit more.