Winter 2011 Features series
February 13, 2011 at 4:00pm
February 13, 2011 at 7:00pm
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Screenplay by Denis Villeneuve and Valérie Beaugrand-Champagne
Based on the play by Wajdi Mouawad
Starring Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin and Maxim Gaudette
Rated 14A ·
French, Arabic with English subtitles
Named Best Canadian Feature in both the Vancouver and Toronto International Film Festivals (2010), and recently selected as Canada’s official entry to the 2010 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, Incendies is French-Canadian director (Maelstrom and Polytechnique) Denis Villeneuve’s most ambitious film.
An adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad’s wrenching play of the same name, it tells of twins Jeanne (Désormeaux-Poulin) and Simon Marwan (Maxim Gaudette) who weren’t expecting much from their mother Nawal’s (Lubna Azabal) will. They are understandably stunned when Jean Lebel (Rémy Girard), notary and long-time friend of Nawal’s, reads her last wishes: for the twins to travel to the Middle East and hand-deliver two letters, one to a father they thought dead, the other to a brother they never knew existed.
Helped by Jean Lebel, the twins slowly piece together Nawal’s heartbreaking story: that of a life mortgaged by the self-fuelling cycle of war and hate. In doing so they also discover their mother’s exceptional courage and resolve.
Blessed with the help of a strong cast, cinematographer Andre Turpin and his own leaned-out screenplay, Villeneuve has crafted a work of searing intensity, terrible beauty and great emotional power.