Incendies (2010)

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Strong themes and violence

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Actors: Lubna Azabal, Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette, Remy Girard

When notary Lebel (Remy Girard) sits down with Jeanne and Simon Marwan (Melissa Desormeaux Poulin, Maxim Gaudette) to read them their mother Nawal's will (Lubna Azabal), the twins are stunned to receive a pair of envelopes - one for the father they thought was dead and another for a brother they didn't know existed. In this enigmatic inheritance, Jeanne sees the key to Nawal's retreat into unexplained silence during the final weeks of her life. She immediately decides to go to the Middle East to dig into a family history of which she knows next to nothing. Simon is unmoved by their mother's posthumous mind games. However, the love he has for his sister is strong, and he soon joins her in combing their ancestral homeland in search of a Nawal who is very different from the mother they knew. With Lebel's help, the twins piece together the story of the woman who brought them into the world, discovering a tragic fate as well as the courage of an exceptional woman. An adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad's hit play, Incendies is a deeply moving story that brings the extremism and violence of today's world to a starkly personal level, delivering a powerful and poetic testament to the uncanny power of the will to survive.

Status: QuickPick
Run time: 130mins
Origin: CANADA
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Audio Formats: French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English

Member Reviews (55)

Posted Tuesday, 21 October 2014 See my other reviews
Very strange movie!!
Posted Tuesday, 9 September 2014 See my other reviews
alistair c
Great movie and great story, however implausible it might be. Rather than think of the characters as real people, see them as metaphors for the wider mess that is the middle east.
Posted Monday, 8 September 2014 See my other reviews
Surprised me, a very powerful and realistic movie.
Posted Tuesday, 1 July 2014 See my other reviews
Enjoyed this foreign language film with an intriguing storyline that retraces a woman's experiences during a violent period in what I think was Lebanon around the 1970s and 1980s.
Posted Wednesday, 18 June 2014 See my other reviews
Defective disc that froze and pixilated often, and in many places - saved only by the story itself, which is compelling
Posted Thursday, 24 April 2014 See my other reviews
A little slow to begin, but persevere... it's a great story that left me thinking about for days. Best movie I've seen in a long while.
Posted Monday, 14 April 2014 See my other reviews
With a little patience this movie gets better as the story unravels
Posted Tuesday, 14 January 2014 See my other reviews
An excellent movie with a great story. Well worth a watch.
Posted Wednesday, 11 December 2013 See my other reviews
very good with some spine tingling twists
Posted Saturday, 7 December 2013 See my other reviews
We enjoyed this movie even though the disc kept stopping and jumnping
Posted Monday, 28 October 2013 See my other reviews
Just finished watching this film and while it was a bit twisted, it kept me hooked from start to finish. This is a film for intellectual/ analytical types that like to widen their horizons, be served challenging perspectives and enjoy that haunting lingering of a film that has so many underlying themes. Well made, I liked it.
Posted Sunday, 27 October 2013 See my other reviews
What a surprise: best film we've seen in a long time -- rich, entertaining, shocking.
Posted Monday, 21 October 2013 See my other reviews
Wonderful. Extraordinary on every level. Reminding me that there is only a fine line between love and hate.
Posted Wednesday, 26 June 2013 See my other reviews
Good movie but too slow for most people. Had to watch it on fast forward. Would have given it 5 stars if they could have engaged the audience a bit more.
Posted Monday, 27 May 2013 See my other reviews
Best film I have seen in a long time
Posted Monday, 22 April 2013 See my other reviews
Riveting movie from start to end. One of the best I've seen in a long time. The ending was definately an eye opener.
Posted Friday, 22 February 2013 See my other reviews
Kept me engaged for the whole length of the film with superb camera work and narrative and great performances by the women particularly.
Posted Thursday, 21 February 2013 See my other reviews
Kevin Virgen
If you need to be reminded how badly we treat each other on this planet this is for you. A dark dark movie .A good deal of escapism needed for an antidote.
Posted Tuesday, 19 February 2013 See my other reviews
This movie was mindblowing, not to mention harrowing! It had me riveted from the start - family secrets that were slowly revealed as the movie progressed - and culminating in a terrible secret that leaves you gobsmacked. The very final scene had me in tears, very tragic. That said, don't be put off! It is an amazing film, excellent acting, gritty and realistic. It is a French Canadian movie (sub-titled) and scenes switch frequently between the present in Canada and the past/present in a fictional Middle Eastern country. There are scenes that are emotionally harrowing - def not a movie for under 16 - but the violence is not overly graphic. This is one of the best movies I have seen in ages, highly recommended.
Posted Sunday, 10 February 2013 See my other reviews
Great movie, very involved andmoving with a really horrible twist at th end
Posted Friday, 8 February 2013 See my other reviews
The story starts in a dilapidated school room with a child seemingly beyond fear stairs blankly as his head is shaven by men carrying guns. The image pans to the child's heel where three dots are tattooed. Immediately one starts to wonder what is the significance of the tattoo? One also wonders will this movie simply be a continous stream of shooting and violence. It is not. A middle aged woman dies on the other side of the world, her children are left cryptic instructions to find a brother and a father of whom they know nothing. The story linking these seemingly disconnected scenes will shock you. The film is a journey of one woman through bigotry and torture to an inconceivable pinnacle of horror. Her children do not know of her past life. In the end you will understand why.
Posted Monday, 28 January 2013 See my other reviews
One of the best movies I've seen all year.
Posted Wednesday, 16 January 2013 See my other reviews
Prof. V.
A compelling story about one woman's resilience and love for her children. This movie was nominated under various film festivals. However the movie's storyline is slow-moving, intensifying only after half-way through. Definitely worth a watch if you love foreign language films, however not a family flick - as there are lots of talking, descriptions plus the language is not in English. Almost no action in the flick so definitely not for action movie buffs, more suited for drama buffs I would say. Because of the strong but slow-moving storyline and the interesting twist at the end regarding a father and a son, this movie is worth watching.
Posted Wednesday, 9 January 2013 See my other reviews
I was blown away by this movie. it has subtitles but the story is amazing. loved it
Posted Monday, 7 January 2013 See my other reviews
A must see movie with a very interesting story line.
Posted Saturday, 29 December 2012 See my other reviews
interesting story, though it had quite a twist at the end
Posted Monday, 17 December 2012 See my other reviews
a brilliant film - so well filmed, an extraordinary story of hardships, personal pain, Extremely highly rated
Posted Wednesday, 12 December 2012 See my other reviews
very compelling and thought provocting
Posted Monday, 3 December 2012 See my other reviews
Incredible, thought provoking story which pivots around one remarkable woman and supported by good acting and direction. Well worth a watch and with a good twist ending - this one will stay with you.
Posted Sunday, 11 November 2012 See my other reviews
Wonderful exploration of love and pain. Thoroughly recommend.
Posted Saturday, 10 November 2012 See my other reviews
Fantastic ware thriller with a great twist...
Posted Saturday, 3 November 2012 See my other reviews
Could only handle 20 minutes of this one, I personally found it quite boring.
Posted Wednesday, 17 October 2012 See my other reviews
Twins journey to the Middle East to discover their family history, and fulfill their mother's last wishes. This film is extraordinary on just about every level. The script is terrific, the actors are perfect, the direction and cinematography are all you could hope for. I recommend it without hesitation.
Posted Tuesday, 16 October 2012 See my other reviews
Simply stunning. Part history lesson, part compelling human drama, and yes, a touch of potboiler towards the end I suppose. But given that it's never less than riveting to watch ( and at times, quite confronting to watch)and the performances and direction are excellent throughout; I was happy to accept a little bit of dramatic license . Recommended.
Posted Wednesday, 3 October 2012 See my other reviews
I can't stop thinking about this film, yes it does hinge a rather improbable coincidence but it's executed so well that i believed and felt their pain and shock. It brought up so many thoughts and questions, especially it made me wonder about the unconditional love a mother has for her child regardless of who or what they become. This movie is haunting, tragic and will stay with you long after the final credits roll.
Posted Friday, 28 September 2012 See my other reviews
Mike Brindley
Much praised on release and it does indeed take us new and challenging places, but the story turns on such a creaky coincidence, you might just check out.
Posted Wednesday, 12 September 2012 See my other reviews
Great movie, but a bit of a eye opener at the end though!
Posted Wednesday, 5 September 2012 See my other reviews
this is an excellant film A must see thoight provoking film
Posted Tuesday, 4 September 2012 See my other reviews
This is a fantastic movie, I had to watch it twice. It was gut wrenching and an amazing story.
Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 See my other reviews
A great confrontational movie that opens the eyes to the violent situation of the Middle East in the 70s
Posted Saturday, 25 August 2012 See my other reviews
Didn't realize this was a foreign film.
Posted Thursday, 28 June 2012 See my other reviews
Loved this one. Brilliant.
Posted Saturday, 21 April 2012 See my other reviews
Just OK , worked out the plot pretty early and disappointed with the convieniant ending .
Posted Monday, 9 April 2012 See my other reviews
one of the best real time stories I have seen. Believable to the end. You walk the shoes from start to finish. Their pain is felt, it's real
Posted Tuesday, 28 February 2012 See my other reviews
Wow what an amaizing story. Sometimes it was confusing to diferentate the mother from the daughter at the beginning of some scenes but the story and setting soon sorted this out. Brilliant movie. Gripping and kept me there right to the end.
Posted Monday, 23 January 2012 See my other reviews
Nancy N
A very harrowing movie, extremely well done and acted. Grips you until the very end. Gives an insight into a totally different culture. Highly recommend it.
Posted Friday, 20 January 2012 See my other reviews
Incendies has the one thing I prize in cinema above all else: a director with a strong personal style who can tailor it to the subject matter at hand. Unfortunately Denis Villeneuve's style is deployed in the service of a pot-boiler of a story. At first it's merely forgettable stuff: a mechanistic cycle of violence told through the prism of a straightforward detective story in which neither the detective nor her quarry emerge as anything more than plot tokens. But by the time it piles on its last lurid, contrived twist it becomes truly risible: an art house exploitation film in which the most painful, improbable scenario its makers could contrive is made palatable through an ostensibly laudable, yet astonishingly wrong-headed, paean to forgiveness.
Posted Thursday, 5 January 2012 See my other reviews
Fabulous story telling, a modern tale, outstanding movie.
Posted Saturday, 10 December 2011 See my other reviews
Powerful but ugly story. Confrontational to watch.
Posted Tuesday, 1 November 2011 See my other reviews
Great movie, loved it
Posted Saturday, 22 October 2011 See my other reviews
Its all in sub titles, was not happy about that
Posted Thursday, 13 October 2011 See my other reviews
Posted Friday, 7 October 2011 See my other reviews
Very grim movie but full of hope, well worth watching and the end is so surprising.
Posted Thursday, 29 September 2011 See my other reviews
amazing movie! loved it. the twist at the end will knock your socks off!
Posted Friday, 23 September 2011 See my other reviews
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