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Twins journey to the Middle East to discover their family history and fulfill their mother's last wishes.

Director:

Denis Villeneuve

Writers:

Denis Villeneuve (scenario), Wajdi Mouawad (play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
1,359 ( 12)
Top Rated Movies #125 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 39 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mustafa Kamel Mustafa Kamel ... Barbier de la Milice / Officer Milice Chrétienne
Hussein Sami Hussein Sami ... Nihad (5ans)
Rémy Girard ... Notaire Jean Lebel
Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin ... Jeanne Marwan
Maxim Gaudette ... Simon Marwan
Dominique Briand Dominique Briand ... Professor Niv Cohen
Lubna Azabal ... Nawal Marwan
Frédéric Paquet Frédéric Paquet ... Médecin a l'urgence
Hamed Najem Hamed Najem ... Wahab
Ahmad Massad Ahmad Massad ... Bassem Marwan
Bader Alami Bader Alami ... Nicolas Marwan
Majida Hussein Majida Hussein ... Grand-mére de Nawal
Asriah Nijres Asriah Nijres ... Sage-Femme
John Dunn-Hill John Dunn-Hill ... Professeur Saïd Haidar
Nadia Essadiqi Nadia Essadiqi ... Secrétaire Université
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Storyline

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 Mylène Chollet

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The search began at the opening of their mother's will.

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | France

Language:

French | Arabic | English

Release Date:

12 January 2011 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Incendies See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

CAD 177,910 (Canada), 19 September 2010

Opening Weekend USA:

$50,679, 24 April 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,857,096

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,597,210
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Incendies" is French for conflagrations (or fires), but the film kept its French title in many countries, including the USA. In many countries, the title translates to "Incendies - The Woman who Sings". See more »

Goofs

Scenes set in Lebanon give away their real location by the cars with Jordanian number plates. See more »

Quotes

Nawal Marwan: But I say your story begins with a promise, to break the chain of anger.
See more »

Crazy Credits

'Mr. Leonard Cohen I need your help, please call me." - Denis Villeneuve See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Water for Elephants (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Nami Nami
Written by Marcel Khalife
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A solid premise with a dreadful structure.
24 December 2011 | by Rockwell_CronenbergSee all my reviews

Incendies was a mixed bag, but I felt like it's negative aspects really bore down on it's positive ones. On the solid side of things, Denis Villeneuve has a real knack for storytelling and an eye for imagery that is truly gorgeous. Some of the shots here dug deep into my brain, be them haunting or beautiful, they managed to elicit a strong reaction from me.

The premise of the story is quite an intriguing one -- upon their mother's death, two twins discovery their father is alive and they have a brother they never knew and then set upon a quest to reveal the truth, and in casting the leads I don't think they could have found more skilled actresses than Lubna Azabal and Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin for the job. These women are a rarity in modern cinema; strong and fierce, fully stood in their beliefs and decisions. It's powerful to see such strong women and the actresses portray them with just that level of gusto and perseverance that is required.

Where it falls apart though is it's structure. Incendies is another of the many dozen films this year that employ a split-time narrative structure and it's yet another example of how to do it improperly. The sections (detailing the twins journey for the truth against the mother's past and her own journey) never feel like they mesh well and it ends up feeling like two completely separate films. At first it wasn't so bad, but as the film progressed the space between these two grew further and further apart.

The last act is where it really derails, as in the present day there are huge discoveries made that we already knew so they lack the sense of emotional catharsis that the characters receive and in the past we see events that the characters already know about so it just becomes a retelling of things we are already aware of. The final act is this bizarrely awkward display of throwing everything at the audience in quick succession, so out of place from a film that had been slowly building up until that point. It felt as though they didn't want it to end up being three hours long so they threw together half a film's worth of information into half an hour. It ends up feeling very awkward and disjointed and completely lost me by the time the credits rolled.


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