Incendies (D. Villeneuve, 2010)[+Extras]-aNaRCHo
[LEFT A COUPLE PIXELS OF BLACK BARS ON TOP AND BOTTOM OF RIP AS THATS HOW IT WAS ON DVD I HAVE....FILM IS IN FRENCH AND LEBANESE WITH ENGLISH AND FRENCH YELLOW FONT SUBTITLES INCLUDED FOR FILM AND EXTRA FEATURE DOCUMENTARY, TRAILER HAS HARDCODED FRENCH SUBS]
Denis Villeneuve's "Incendies"- an adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad's play "Scorched"- is a film about a soul being put to rest.
This dark mystery is a disturbing, yet moving, tale of a mother, Narwal Marwan (Lubna Azabal); her twin son- Simon aka Sarwan (Maxim Gaudette) and daughter- Jeanne aka Janaan (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin). After their mother's death, the two siblings are sent to Lebanon where they are to investigate their mother's past- her final wishes. As the plot of the film unravels, the story lines from the two eras are cinematically woven together in non-linear fashion.
The film begins with the reckoning and death of Narwal; after which her twin children are called before the trusted Notary Jean Libel (Rémy Girard)- whom Narwal had worked under for many years prior to her death- for the reading of her will. Each of the siblings is given a letter and left with a task that must be accomplished before she will allow them to mark her grave with a stone and any sort of recognition.
Simon is dealt the task of tracking down their brother. While Jeanne- a mathematician who works on unsolvable equations, and the realization of the woman her mother was meant to be- is left to track down their father. Both of whom are thought to be back in Lebanon; the country that their mother had emigrated from. While Simon first thinks his mother has gone insane, Jeanne- intrigued by the impossibility of the task at hand- heads off to Lebanon to see what she can find out, possessing only two names and an old photograph.
As Jeanne's investigation progresses, we are shown flashbacks from Narwal's life in Lebanon before she had come to Canada. These flashbacks provide us with information prior to the Twins become privy to it, and as such, allow us to put the mystery together one step ahead of them. Although, it must be noted that Villeneuve does, cleverly, try and throw us off by having Jeanne "put things together" wrong in the first half of the film...by which I mean how she thinks Wahab is their father and Abou Tarek the father of their brother (when we know this clearly cannot be the case).
As Jeanne is joined by her brother, it becomes evident that the quest they have been sent on is not only a journey to discover the truth about who their mother really was; but also one of self-discovery, as they soon realize they are exposing the truth about their own story, as well. The ultimate closure the siblings could achieve for their mother; and their mother for themselves.
The Twins reveal how their mother was a Christian woman living in a Lebanon during a time in which tensions between the Muslim and Christian Nationalist communities were becoming increasingly strained and violent. They discover how she had fallen in love and become pregnant by a Muslim man- bringing disgrace to her ultra-Nationalist family; and how she was forced to give up her child- their brother; only to dedicate the rest of her life to tracking him down.
As the two delve deeper into Lebanon and the truth, we discover more and more about the hardships their mother had to endure. How, after being run out of town by her family, she set out to find the orphanage her son had been sent to- only to find it had been razed by the local warlord.
What happens next (in combination with the conclusion) gives the film it's title.
In order to continue the search for her son, Narwal needed to get to the town of Daressa. To manage this she was required to disguise herself as an Islamic woman and catch a bus that was bringing a group of Muslim passengers into the town. Before they were able to reach their destination, though, the bus is stopped at a checkpoint by a group of armed Christian Nationalists who inexplicably pepper the bus with bullets- killing most of the passengers.
Narwal manages to survive alongside a woman and her daughter, but when the men start to cover the bus in gasoline...she has no other choice but to reveal herself to be a Christian. The men spare her life, but force her to watch a horrific massacre unfold- which includes the woman being burned alive and her young daughter being shot down in cold blood- right before her eyes.
Ashamed by the actions of her people, and greatly traumatized by the events she just experienced, Narwal gives up the search for her lost son and joins the Muslim revolt- agreeing to assassinate the leader of the Christian Nationalists.
Her children discover that she not only successfully assassinated the man; but was also arrested, imprisoned and tortured- which included being raped repeatedly- for 15 years in one of the Country's most infamous prisons- during which she became known as "The Woman Who Sings".
As the Twins wrap up their investigation and get to the bottom of the story they were sent to expose, they are hit with a series of disturbing revelations about their mother; lost brother; father; and even themselves. I love how Villeneuve foreshadows this before revealing it to us cryptically in the "how can 1+1=1" scene; then explaining it more concretely in the film's conclusion.
With "Incendies", Villeneuve has brought us a brilliantly constructed dark and disturbing mystery that allows us, as the viewers, to be the sleuth- which is half the fun! A wonderfully shot film with lots of stable shots from a distance that had a sort of Haneke vibe. The entire cast does an excellent job, but Belgian actress Lubna Azabal really steals the show. And on top of all this it's a Canadian film! A Must See. 10 out of 10.
Extra Features Include:
- Se Souvenir Des Cendres (aka Remembering The Ashes) (A. Barbeau-Lavalette, 2010)
- French Trailer
PLEASE SEED AND ENJOY!!!
Sep 29, 2011, 20:01:31
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11h 27m 47s ago