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FREE FOR MEMBERS: Incendies

The search began at the opening of their mother's will. 

Year: 2010 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: It is expected that this film is fully subtitled. 
Directed by Denis Villeneuve 
Starring: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette  
An image from FREE FOR MEMBERS: Incendies

Buy Tickets on the SU Website:
19:30 Thursday 7th March 2024

Review:

Jeanne and Simon are twins living in Canada whose mother Nawal has just died. In her last will and testament, she instructs them to deliver letters to a brother that they never knew existed and their father, who they thought was dead. They must travel to their mother’s homeland in the Middle East to uncover her past and find the family they didn’t know they had. The story unfolds on multiple timelines, and through a series of flashbacks we also follow Nawal as a young woman searching for her lost son amidst a war-torn country (based on Lebanon during the Civil War) and the horrors she endures. From religious persecution to mass killings to torture, the environment she tries to navigate is one of the harshest ever put on screen. Denis Villeneuve’s most critically acclaimed film FOR A REASON; Incendies manages to convey senseless violence and hate, while somehow also capturing the hope and love humans are capable of. The raw emotion and quiet resilience Lubna Azabal (as Nawal) portrays in this is stupendous. Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin and Maxim Gaudette (as the twins) also deliver compelling performances, but Azabal is truly a titan. Beautifully shot, intricately layered, and with an absolutely disturbing final twist that will make you grimace every time you are reminded of it. It’s the sort of film I think about often but never want to watch ever again.

Julian Brooke

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Screenings of this film:

2023/2024 Spring Term (digital)