How Well It Burns is the fourth in a series of seven films commissioned by Absent Voices, an artist-led project centred on the Scottish town of Greenock, telling the creative story of Greenock’s sugar industry. Using the Category A listed Sugar Sheds on James Watt Dock as a catalyst, eight artists worked within the community and reached out to the wider world. Absent Voices was principally funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Each of the films is directed and edited by Alastair Cook.

How Well It Burns written and read by the late Brian Johnstone and features a commissioned cello soundtrack by Rebecca Rowe and uses footage of Allied WW2 raids courtesy of the Ministry of Defence.

The series of seven films was screened in entirety at Body Electric in Colorado, Filmpoem Festival, Felix Poetry Festival in Antwerp and Absent Voices in Greenock); six films in the series were performed live with the poets and composer Luca Nasciuti at the Scottish Poetry Library.