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Denis Villeneuve

  • Country: Canada/France
  • Year: 2010
  • Language: French, Arabic
  • Producer: Luc Déry, Kim McCraw
  • Screenplay: Denis Villeneuve
  • Runtime: 130
  • Programmes:

After their mother Nawal's death, twins Simon and Jeanne embark on a journey to the Middle East that shines a disturbing light on their mother's past and culminates in a shocking revelation. Based on the acclaimed play by Wajdi Mouawad and directed by Genie and Jutra award-winner Denis Villeneuve (Polytechnique).

DramaFamily RelationsNorth Africa/Middle EastViolenceIdentity

screening times

    • Monday September 13
    • 6:00:00 PM
    • Tiff Bell LightBox 1
    • Tuesday September 14
    • 2:00:00 PM
    • AMC 3

Note: indicates Premium Screening.

official description

To encounter a film of heart-wrenching tragedy, mythic proportions and sweeping visual majesty is rare, but such are the riches of Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies. After last year’s multiple Genie Award-winning Polytechnique, Villeneuve continues his acute examination of women in devastating situations facing complex and harrowing circumstances.

At the reading of their mother Nawal’s will, twin siblings Simon (Maxim Gaudette) and Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) learn for the first time that they have a brother, and that their father, whom they thought was dead, is in fact alive. Among their mother’s various unsettling requests is her final wish that the twins find both brother and father and deliver to them certain sealed letters. Nawal (Lubna Azabal) was a mystery to her children and their relationship is a difficult one. Simon is angry and resistant, but Jeanne feels compelled to respect her mother’s requests.

As a young woman, Nawal fell pregnant out of wedlock in her Middle-Eastern homeland. After narrowly escaping an honour killing, she was forced to give up her baby boy, vowing one day to find him. Shifting back and forth in time, Incendies follows two parallel journeys, expertly interwoven: the twins’ journey to find their brother and father in their mother’s homeland, and Nawal’s journey to find her son. Both journeys shine a disturbing light on Nawal’s past and culminate in a shocking final revelation.

Villeneuve masterfully adapts the acclaimed play by Wajdi Mouawad, while André Turpin’s arresting cinematography captures the arid landscape of the Middle-East, seamlessly shifting between shadowy corners and stark, bright daylight. Azabal is riveting as Nawal, while Désormeaux-Poulin and Gaudette deliver equally strong performances as the twins. Moving, visceral and epic, Incendiesshows Villeneuve reaching ever greater heights as he probes characters that must face obstacles with extraordinary resilience and love.

Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo

director bio

Denis Villeneuve was born near Trois-Rivières, Quebec, and studied film at l’Université du Quebec à Montréal before going on to direct a number of award-winning videos and short films, including La course Europe-Asie (91) and Rew FFD (94). His acclaimed features Un 32 août sur terre (98) and Maelström (00) both screened at the Festival. His last film, Polytechnique (09), won nine Genie Awards, including best picture and best director. Incendies (10) is his fourth feature.

full credits

Principal Cast: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette, Rémy Girard
Luc Déry, Kim McCraw
André Turpin
Monique Dartonne
Jean Umansky, Sylvain Bellemare, Jean-Pierre Laforce
Grégroire Hetzel
Production Designer:
André-Line Beauparlant

Canadian Distributor:
 Les Films Christal  
International Sales Agent:
 Entertainment One Films International
Production Company:
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