Abu Dhabi: The movie Incendies portrayed a mother's last wish to send her twins on a journey to the Middle East in search of their tangled roots.
Adapted from Wajdi Mouawad's acclaimed play, Incendies tells the powerful and moving tale of two young adults' voyage to the core of deep-rooted hatred, never-ending wars, family intimacy and enduring love.
The film was shown on day one at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (Adff) in both French and Arabic, with English sub-titles.
The Montreal director spoke to Gulf News after the film screening. He explained that he worked on his latest film Incendies for the past five years, and decided to turn what Lebanese-Canadian screenwriter, Mouawad, showcased as a play.
"As I walked out of the theater, I said oh my God; I'm going to make a film with this. I was amazed by the dramatic structure, the way he was dealing with intimacy and politics at the same time."
Incendies traces the journey of Montreal twins Simon (Maxim Gaudette, who played the killer in 'Polytechnique') and Jeanne (Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin). In her will, their mother Nawal (Lubna Azabal) reveals that the pair has a brother from their mother's previous lover, who was murdered by Nawal's relatives due to their pre-marital affair.
Nawal's wish, sends the siblings on a trip to the Middle East which ultimately reveals a heart-stopping secret about her past. In a parallel storyline, Villeneuve relates Nawal's younger years, and the story of the twin's paternity.
When asked why the film-maker added violence and bloodshed in some of the movie's scenes, he said "I hate violence; I close my eyes every time I see it; however it was necessary to portray scenes of war, violence and killing in order to show what the characters went through."
During his conversation with Gulf News, several fans congratulated the Canadian film-maker for what they called "an excellent movie, a job well done."
Among the fans, who walked up to congratulate Villeneuve, was Dutch producer Bero Beyer, known for producing the 2005 movie Paradise Now. "I loved this fantastic movie. It was exciting and different," said the Dutch producer. Both producers were ecstatic to meet, and seemed to have great respect for one another.
Villeneuve highlight characters and territories in bold red through-out the course of the movie. "I loved that style approach, since it highlights the fact that the movie was not based on a true story, despite the incidents being very real. Yet I wanted people to remember specific names and characters during the course of the movie."
Film Review: Definitely a must see!
Incendies show-cases intimacy, family ties, violence, hardship, war, rage and many other emotions. It should be viewed more than once, since the story itself it complicated and full of details.
The audience at the Adff screening for Incendies applauded the movie as soon as it ended, and feedback for the film-maker was positive.
I must agree, the movie is different, yet certain scenes during the 130 minutes, can be sensitive to the eyes. If you're sensitive to bloodshed and violence, I don't recommend you watch the film. It's definitely not children-friendly either.