© DR
Genre : Drama
Type : Fiction
Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2010
Format : Feature

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).

Country: Canada/France
Year: 2010
Language: French, Arabic
Producer: Luc Déry, Kim McCraw
Runtime: 130

Principal Cast: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette, Rémy Girard
Producer: Luc Déry, Kim McCraw
Screenplay: Denis Villeneuve, Wajdi Mouawad, Valérie Beaugrand-Champagne - adapted from Wajdi Mouawad' stage drama
Cinematographer: André Turpin
Editor: Monique Dartonne
Sound: Jean Umansky, Sylvain Bellemare, Jean-Pierre Laforce
Music: Grégroire Hetzel
Production Designer: André-Line Beauparlant

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

official description (TIFF 2010 - Toronto)
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, Incendies shows Villeneuve reaching ever greater heights as he probes characters that must face obstacles with extraordinary resilience and love.

Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo (TIFF 2010 - Toronto)


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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