After losing their mother from a stroke in the local swimming pool, twins Simon and Jeanne are left with the seemingly impossible task of finding their father and half-brother. The only clue that Jeanne has to go by is her half-brother’s tattooed ankle – her great-grandmother’s desperate and prescient attempt to ensure his traceability after the chaos of war. The film gradually reveals to Jeanne the unsuspected and horrific truth of her mother’s life of heart-ache, torture and religious discrimination.
This is, at times, a difficult film to watch. Its action, taking place in the Lebanese civil war, has a strongly contemporary feel because of current events in Syria, and has several disturbing images. But though the scenes of battle, torture and rape are pitiless at times, they are believable and not sensationalised, and finally clarify the film’s theme – that accident of birth is no reason for hatred.
‘Incendies’ is based on the novel “Scorched” by Wajdi Mouard and was nominated for an Oscar in 2010.
Cast: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin amd Maxime Gaudette
Awards: Won thirty-one awards, nominated for Oscar and ten others
Denis Villenueve | France | 2010 | 130 mins | 15
Weighted vote 95%
“Last night’s film was one of the best films that I have watched – thank you.”