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"INCENDIES" is the French word for "destruction by fire". The English translation for the film's title is "Scorched". It is based on the French play of the same name.

This was deliberately left ambiguous by the filmmakers. The film was shot in Amman, Jordan, but the conflict between Christian and Muslim militias would seem to imply the setting is Lebanon during and after the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990). Some viewers have noted that the word "Palestine" can be glimpsed on an office window during one scene. However, this sign may have been part of a slogan or the name of an organisation (such as "Friends of Palestine"), and does not necessarily prove the film is set there.

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