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Incendies (2010)

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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 »
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1,332 ( 558)
Top Rated Movies #124 | 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 ... 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

This film won the Best Feature Film awarded by the jury at the 2011 Adelaide Film Festival. Director Denis Villeneuve responded by saying that "As a poetic sign of gratitude to [the] Adelaide Film Festival, I'll give the name of 'Adelaide' to one of my main characters in my next film. So thank you one thousand times to [the] Adelaide Film Festival!". However Villeneuve has yet to name any of his characters Adelaide in any of his films since. See more »

Goofs

In Nawal Marwan's passport the birth date shows 1949 in Latin script whereas, in Arabic, it shows 1953. 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

Referenced in Se souvenir des cendres - Regards sur Incendies (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Nami Nami
Written by Marcel Khalife
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Gutwrenching, intense, beautiful, searing (yes, scorching)...
14 January 2014 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Incendies (2010)

Scorched is a good translation of the French title. That's how you'll feel by the end.

This Canadian movie, based on a play by a Lebanese writer, is set mostly in Jordan and is a tale of a twin brother and sister (son and daughter) looking for their roots after the death of their mother. It's quite amazing.

Don't think this is some feel-good flick. What it shows first of all, better than almost any movie I've seen, is the reality of life in wartime in the Mideast (pick your country). The ruthless, bloody, sectarian violence is made intimate in the worst way, or best way cinematically—you hate it, and feel it. This is the huge strength of the movie, giving light to the dilemmas of ordinary people trying to survive, literally, the mayhem.

Equally important is how the daughter's view of her mother changes as she learns more and more about her. The daughter is forced to do this because of a request in her mother's will, but she takes it on, in a more recent Jordan, with utter determination.

The movie is divided into two time periods. The first belongs to the mother in an ongoing series of harrowing flashbacks. The second belongs to the daughter, and eventually the son, as they look for surviving members of the mother's past. The steely force of will of the daughter turns out to be a mere shadow of the strength of her mother, and you droop in admiration and sympathy for all of them.

The huge, dramatic hook of the movie, which you only learn as the characters learn it at the very end of the movie, isn't something I can talk about here. But for outrageousness it puts Shakespeare to shame—and it was for me also a distraction. Your jaw drops and you think, oh how awful (and more)! But a part of my brain was also saying, this is too much, it isn't contributing to the truth and emotional depth of these characters.

It might even undermine them slightly, reminding us this is a stage play, an artifice.

But that's a nagging quibble. This is really a powerful movie, beautifully rendered, and acted with unusual intensity. It's rough (realistically violent) in a few spots, but it's worth it. Wow.


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