Incendies (2010)

Incendies (Denis Villeneuve, 2010)

Notary Jean Lebel (Rémy Girard) has to read the testament of his late secretary, Nawal Marwan (Lubna Azabal), to her twins. In the reading they have unusual requests from their mother and two letters. One is for their father whom they thought was deceased and another one for their brother whom they never heard about. Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) and Simon (Maxim Gaudette), the twins, must deliver those two letters to whom it may concern. Simon doesn't want anything to do with his mother anymore. Jeanne, instead wants to accomplish the last will of his mother. She embarks on a trip in the Middle-East to discover the past of her mother. A while after, Simon decides to help his sister and unveil the truth on the life on their mother.

This is a heavy film, there are not that many scenes of violence but it's the themes treated in Incendies that makes it a difficult but madatory film. This is a film about humans/humanity in its best and moreover in its worst. Incendies is a strong film and its director Denis Villeneuve is in complete control of his art. The opening sequence is probably a direct reference to Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket where we see young recruits getting their head shaved on a sad slow song. It presents the film like Kubrick did, war has never done any good on humanity. On some level both films show how war is the worst thing, but Incendies is a more human film and the angle taken here recreates the tragedy of one family among so many other.

For once I can say that I am proud of the films made in my country, Canada, and even from my own province, Québec. From now on, I will try to see more films from my country. My problem is that I have a "the grass is always greener at the neighbor's" complex for films.

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