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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Death is Never the End of the Story"
`Incendies' translates into English as `scorched' and is a good metaphor for the whole film. This is the story of Narwal Marwan (Lubna Azabal), who has left an unusual last will and testament. Said will is then read to her twin children by her former employer and attorney. In it they are both given a letter each to deliver, the daughter Jeanne, has one for the father and...
Published on 22 Dec 2011 by Tommy Dooley

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26 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less Than Meets the Eye
Incendies obliquely chronicles the adult life of Nawal Marwan (Lubna Azabal), an Arab woman living in Canada whose death sends her two children to find the father they believed was dead and a brother they never knew existed. The siblings, twins Jeanne and Simon (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin and Maxim Gaudette), travel to Nawal's war-ravaged, unnamed home...
Published on 26 Jun 2011 by Humpty Dumpty


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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Death is Never the End of the Story", 22 Dec 2011
By 
Tommy Dooley (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Incendies [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
`Incendies' translates into English as `scorched' and is a good metaphor for the whole film. This is the story of Narwal Marwan (Lubna Azabal), who has left an unusual last will and testament. Said will is then read to her twin children by her former employer and attorney. In it they are both given a letter each to deliver, the daughter Jeanne, has one for the father and her brother Simon, has one for their brother. The problem is that up until this point they believed their father to be dead and this is the first they had heard of a brother.

Jeanne is more enthused than her sibling and sets off with minimal information to find her Pops. Simon is disgruntled with the whole thing and stays at home sulking - that is probably the Gallic influence. Jeanne goes to an unnamed country that is more than likely the Lebanon, where she starts her search for the past. The real past is told in episodic flashbacks, and we start to see what a harrowing and extraordinary life that Narwal has lived. We are taken on a tour of Daresh and Deressa during the civil war. We see religious intolerance, war atrocities and honour killings. Whilst this is all done very tastefully, it has the feel of being much more gritty than it actually is and that has to be a testament to the brilliant direction of Denis Villeneuve (who also adapted this from the stage play).

This is also beautifully shot and has a powerful soundtrack that features Radiohead. Whilst not a short film with a run time of 130 minutes, this did not feel like a chore at all, in fact it seemed to fly by. There are some that will not be satisfied with the ending, but c'est la vie. In French, with some Arabic and English, all well translated, albeit translitterally, this is a film for anyone interested in World cinema. It is also about the indominatabilty of the human spirit and the love bond a mother has for her child. Even if you do not like this film, you would be hard pressed not to be moved by it. I found it utterly absorbing and I hope you do too.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never judge a person until you walk a mile in their shoes, 25 July 2011
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This review is from: Incendies [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
I really do not know how to start this review, yet what I will say is that this is a film like no other. Having watched it at a cinema, it is the first film where I have actually seen the audience remain till the very end, even after the credits finished. The ending will probably leave you in shock, contemplation and amazement at what you have just witnessed.

The film centers around three main characters, the twins and the mother, played brilliantly by Lubna Azabal. The twins are summoned to the offices of their mother's Power of Attorney (Lawyer) and are handed over instructions to trace their deceased mothers past life, which in itself is full of sadness, bravery and humiliation. The children soon go onto realize why their mother was the way she was and they in turn will confront their own prejudices and assumptions.

If you are in the mood to watch an intelligent and thought provoking film, then you cannot go wrong with Incendies. It will live with you long after the end credits have disappeared.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unflinching and brutal, `Incendies' is a heartbreaking tragedy of epic proportions., 4 Dec 2011
This review is from: Incendies [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
Denis Villeneuve's `Incendies' is the story of a mothers death and her children's struggle to cope with their mothers last wishes in her will.

The mother is Nawal Marwan (Lubna Azabal), and her children are Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) and Simon (Maxime Gaudette). Jeanne and Simon discover that their mother's final wish is that they should deliver sealed letters to a father they believed to be dead and a brother they never knew existed. Nawals wish was that she be buried in unhallowed ground face down from the sun. If the letters are delivered, the mother will then permit herself a headstone and a customary burial.

It is not really a choice at all, and so the initial intrigue soon unfolds into a cryptic family mystery, to say too much would spoil the many revelations in an incredible story. Simon is extremely angry and seeks to defy her mothers wishes, but the lawyer forbids it as it was his mothers wish. Jeanne wants to find her father and brother, she knows that she needs to uncover her mothers past to find the clues needed to find her new family.

Jeanne's journey takes her to the Middle East, intercut with Nawal's story since she was a teenager. What follows is a series of personal disasters for Nawal, and ever-increasing revelations for Jeanne, as she travels throughout the region while her country falls further into a civil war. After slowly finding enough clues to start to patch together her mothers life, Jeanne pleads with Simon to come to her aid. Simon wants nothing more than to take Jeanne back home to Canada, but he realises that he must start his own journey to find his family. Jeanne and Simon uncover not only the traumatic life of their mother, but the horrific circumstances in which they came to be born, who their father is, and who their brother is.

`Incendies' may be melodramatic, contrived, even manipulative. It depends on how far you're willing to let this film `take' you. The film's structure has a few inconsistencies, and the final twist is created through a ridiculous set of coincidences that borders on the insane. The political and religious strand to the story may be slightly heavy-handed but it is symbolic not only within its own historical context but one that underlines the domino-effect of the children's and mothers journey. In the end, someone has to end the war and the hate, and Nawals incredible final wish was to do just that.

Unflinching and brutal, `Incendies' is a heartbreaking tragedy of epic proportions. The ending may seem far-fetched, but it still packs an emotional wallop that is hard to ignore, `Incendies' will certainly keep you thinking long after the film has finished.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a rollercoaster of a ride, 28 Jan 2012
This review is from: Incendies [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
This was a very good film. With the action divided between Canada and Palestine, it provided a rare glimpse into the lives of Christians in Palestine. This element was interesting in its own right. Apart from the historical and geographical aspects, the film was essentially a mystery and the viewer is left guessing as to what the outcome will be until the very end. The final denouement is shocking.
This film left me feeling as though I had been on a journey in much the same way as 'Julia's Eyes'.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A film that leaves you with something to think about, 22 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Incendies [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
I cannot help but agree with other reviewers: this film offers an intriguing plot and beautiful cinematography, and it leaves the audience with something to think about. I think it's one of the best films I've seen in 2011.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incendies- UNFORTGETTABLE, 22 Jun 2011
This review is from: Incendies [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
Just watched this film and it's completely amazing, obviously just pre-ordered the DVD! I'm never going to forget it- a completely hauting detective/ thriller (not scary). The mystery unravels throughout so you can never take your eyes of what's happening. The context is so intriguing... set in the middle east trying to unlock the secrets of thier families past, the film touches on the consquences of war for future generations and the turmoil it causes. Incendies is also shot beautifully, the feel of the film is a class above anything else I've seen this year! No wonder it was oscar nominated!!! I can't recommend highly enough, a must buy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film to be watched to understand our world, 29 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Incendies [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
I love movies but I find that so many films are dominated by repetetive stories with no substance.

This film is probably one of the most accomplished movies I have ever seen. And I have watched thousands.I am a film producer finalising my first 2 hour feature film.

This film exposes what life is lke in parts of the world we here about on the news but do not experience first hand, but it does not do it to 'teach', it does it to grip you and take you on that journey. You will be shocked, and if you are a genuine human-being with care and empathy in you, I think you may also cry. Few films I've seen, contain what this one does: the power to entertain you with mystery, violence, sexual content - which is not erotic, but a consequence of so many people driven by circumstances and ideas outside of their control.

It all feels real. The whole journey leads to a mystery revealed but this is just the simple layer. The other layers compell you to conside the reality of war, cultural divides, and the innocent victims of all that, who - somehow, rise above it.

I don't wish to tell you snippets of the plot. Simply, if you are real, and you wish to understand a world outside of your western one, take a look and be captivated and moved as you learn what is not obviously being taught. A story like no other. On my list of movies all time? In the top 10.
mol
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As it is in life..., 19 Dec 2011
This review is from: Incendies [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
This film is so beautiful; it gets to the core of real values and what being human is. Unfortunately the people in this film, like in life, only discover themselves through extreme adversity. It raises many questions about power and its abuse, the lengths to which people will go to express hatred and how floored their reasons for such beliefs are. It made me realise that the choices to hate and be angry sadly come much easier than expressions of love in the society we so much endorse. How gullible and fallible we are to chose the way we live, and how nave to believe that somehow things will workout. It's about isolation from ones self, about knowing truth but unable to be self-honest, many contradictions, as well as being one of the best anti-war films. If there is a just argument to deconstruct society and start a fresh then the reasons for doing so are in here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly powerful drama, 12 Dec 2011
This review is from: Incendies [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
I watched Incendies while on board a flight to Kyoto and bought the DVD as soon as I got back home - to share it with my family. It has found a permanent niche in the folds of my brain - something I will never be able to forget. Incredibly powerful and simply unforgettable, it captures the darkest side of human nature but what makes it stand out is how the saga is told.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stays with you long after the final credits, 27 Oct 2011
This review is from: Incendies [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
There's not alot i can add to the other reviews of this superbly haunting film.
It really is incredible, not and easy watch by any means, but certainly rewarding.
A quality foreign language film, i get more excited about watching foreign cinema now than ever before.
.
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Incendies [Blu-ray]
Incendies [Blu-ray] by Andre Turpin (Blu-ray - 2011)
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