In the lead up to the 7th Canadian Film Festival in Australia (August 2012), join us as we countdown the Top 100 Canadian Films of the past 30 years. We'll be posting one film a day leading up to Canada Day on July 1st 2012. Do you agree with our team favourites? Let us know your thoughts!
#4 - Incendies
After their mother’s death, twins Simon and Jeanne are each handed a letter from their family lawyer. One is to be delivered to their father, who they thought had passed away long ago, the other to their brother, who they never knew existed.
Finding the answers to all of the questions these letters bring to the surface leads Jeanne and Simon to travel across the world, deep into their mother Nawal’s past, to uncover the secrets of their family history.
Much of the film is set in an unnamed Middle-Eastern country, based on Lebanon. It’s a visceral account of Nawal’s experience of civil war, violence and trauma told from her perspective, and later retold by people who were there.
The family members’ journeys - the twins as they search for answers to the past, and their mother as she searches for the lost son taken from her at birth - take each of them through sometimes dark and often difficult times and discoveries.
Ultimately, though, Incendies is about searching for redemption and finding love, within family and within onesself, that is strong enough to break cycles of anger and hate.
Written and directed by Denis Villeneuve and adapted from Wajdi Mouawad's play Scorched, Incendies was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2011 and went on to win eight awards at the 31st Genie Awards, including Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Incendies is truly an exceptional film; stunningly shot, edited and acted, with some of the deepest emotional impact of any film I have seen.
- Karina Libbey
“Muscular, emotional film-making of the highest order, self-confident in its delivery yet always respectful of its characters' plight.” – The Observer
To see the other films in the countdown so far, click here.