A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior - both of which still haunt him decades later.
Juan José Campanella
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.
A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
A mother's last wishes send twins Jeanne and Simon on a journey to the Middle East in search of their tangled roots. Adapted from Wajdi Mouawad's acclaimed play, Incendies tells the powerful and moving tale of two young adults' voyage to the core of deep-rooted hatred, never-ending wars and enduring love.Written by
Although shot in Jordan, the Middle Eastern country in which the film takes place was deliberately left unnamed. Some viewers have noted the word "Palestine" visible on a window in Nawal's school, but the Christian-Muslim conflict would seem to imply the setting is Lebanon, the birthplace of playwright Wajdi Mouawad. See more »
In Nawal Marwan's passport the birth date shows 1949 in Latin script whereas, in Arabic, it shows 1953. See more »
Want to see where one of the modern era's hottest directing streaks started? If you do, then Incendies in the film for you.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve, who went from this French/Canadian co-production to move onto Prisoners, Enemy, Sicario, Arrival and last year's brilliant sequel Blade Runner 2049, Incendies is the Oscar nominated film that put Villeneuve on the path he finds himself on now and remains a film of substantial power these years on from initial release.
Adapted from Wajdi Mouawad's play of the same name, Incendies is a multi-layered narrative that spans both numerous countries and numerous characters over various timelines but Villeneuve controls his film perfectly as the mystery that lays at the heart of this tale about family, war, life and death never gets muddled as we're drawn further and further into a film that wraps us up in its web and refuses to let us go.
There's not the abundance of filmmaking and visual flair that Villeneuve has started to become known for over his more recent Hollywood productions but Incendies power comes almost exclusively from Villeneuve's deft hand with his performers, his handling of a script that other filmmakers would struggle to bring to life and his ability to slowly ebb out more information as we go, that by the time we come to realise just what lays in store for the films characters, the power of Incendies becomes even more apparent.
Saying to much about this story would be a disservice to a film that takes many various turns and pivots. Essentially at its core, a story of both twins Jeanne and Simon Marwan trying to uncover the secret of their father they've never met and find a brother they never knew they had after their Middle Eastern born mother Nawal passes away, Incendies becomes so much more than a typical family drama as it showcases time in the conflict of the Israeli and Palestinian Holy Wars, as well as the twins journey back to their country of nationality.
The film in many ways showcases a different side to Villeneuve and proves the director is just as at home handling a $150 million plus Sci-Fi for a major Hollywood studio as he is behind the camera of a small intimate drama that is driven purely by its narrative and characters. Proof the filmmaker is a man of many talents and a director to be cherished by those that love cinema.
Final Say -
For any fans of Villeneuve's work, world cinema or powerful character driven dramas, then Incendies should be a film you seek out as soon as possible. Losing none of its power since its initial release, this sometimes hard to watch but always enthralling film is standout filmmaking and the official blasting off point for one of the modern era's great filmmakers.
5 swimming pools out of 5
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