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Incendies [Blu-ray] (Version française) [Import]

Lubna Azabal , Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin , Denis Villeneuve    R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 30.39 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Incendies [Blu-ray] (Version française) [Import] + Monsieur Lazhar [Blu-ray] (Version française)
Price For Both: CDN$ 49.36

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This hauntingly enigmatic Canadian film and 2010 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee unfolds backward and forward in time as a riveting, intricate mystery story. Clues are doled out gradually and often without the benefit of reason until shocking answers are unearthed in the final minutes. Set primarily in an unnamed Middle East country that is probably Lebanon, events are told in flashbacks and present-day scenes that run together without comment or overt transitions, employing a formal structure that requires us to pay constant attention to the shifts in perspective. It's a challenging task, but one that becomes enormously engrossing as the narrative weaves around itself against the backdrop of a bloody civil war and the equally damaging emotional battle of a family that is bound to a past ruled by equal parts devotion and horror. The primary characters are Nawal Marwan and her twin children Jeanne and Simon. A framing device set in Montreal where the grown twins hear a reading of their recently deceased mother's will sets up a quest that must be resolved before her body can be put to rest. They are each given sealed letters by the avuncular notary who was both their mother's employer and family friend (he also becomes pretty important to the extended plot, as do a number of other seemingly minor characters). As her last request, the mother has instructed Jeanne to deliver one letter to their father and Simon to deliver the other to their brother. Even though the twins believed their unknown father to be long dead and were unaware of the existence of a brother, Nawal's will assures them that both men are very much alive. With nothing more than the family name and a vague history of Nawal's early life in the strife-torn country where fighting between Christians and Muslims wrought a years-long bloodbath, both children get a crack at solving the mystery. The trails they follow each in their own turn are intercut with episodes from the young Nawal's journey of heartbreak, tension, and terror decades earlier. The children uncover incremental details in the same resolutely objective fashion that director Denis Villeneuve reels out others through the experiences of Nawal as she lived through her own ordeal. The script by Villeneuve was based on a play by Wajdi Mouawad, and there is a deeply resonant literary quality to the narrative that gives what might have otherwise seemed like an unlikely series of coincidences a profound sense of plausibility. An ultimate and entirely legitimate sense of destiny is revealed to all the characters that pass through the story, even in the most tangential way. The truths revealed by the surprise ending are truly devastating and completely unexpected, especially to those for whom the reality they thought they knew has been upended in ways that are unimaginable. --Ted Fry

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Death is Never the End of the Story" Feb. 11 2012
By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER
`Incendies' translates into English as `scorched' and is a good metaphor for the whole film. This is the story of Narwal Marwan (Lubna Azabal), who has left an unusual last will and testament. Said will is then read to her twin children by her former employer and attorney. In it they are both given a letter each to deliver, the daughter Jeanne, has one for the father and her brother Simon, has one for their brother. The problem is that up until this point they believed their father to be dead and this is the first they had heard of a brother.

Jeanne is more enthused than her sibling and sets off with minimal information to find her Pops. Simon is disgruntled with the whole thing and stays at home sulking - that is probably the Gallic influence. Jeanne goes to an unnamed country that is more than likely the Lebanon, where she starts her search for the past. The real past is told in episodic flashbacks, and we start to see what a harrowing and extraordinary life that Narwal has lived. We are taken on a tour of Daresh and Deressa during the civil war. We see religious intolerance, war atrocities and honour killings. Whilst this is all done very tastefully, it has the feel of being much more gritty than it actually is and that has to be a testament to the brilliant direction of Denis Villeneuve (who also adapted this from the stage play).

This is also beautifully shot and has a powerful soundtrack that features Radiohead. Whilst not a short film with a run time of 130 minutes, this did not feel like a chore at all, in fact it seemed to fly by. There are some that will not be satisfied with the ending, but c'est la vie. In French, with some Arabic and English, all well translated, albeit translitterally, this is a film for anyone interested in World cinema.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devastatingly inspiring Dec 21 2011
By Gary Fuhrman TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This bilingual edition of Incendies was worth waiting for. Lubna Azabal is marvellous, but the rest of the acting in this film is remarkable. The English subtitles are well done, not only for the film itself but also for the lengthy and fascinating making-of documentary by Anais Barbeau-Lavalette. Most of Incendies was shot in Jordan, and the documentary ("Remembering the Ashes") gives the local extras and actors a chance to share their own feelings about the events portrayed in the film, and their memories of similar events in their own lives.

The story is superb, rivetting and surprising, mostly because of the original play it is based on (by Wadji Mouawad). But it's the authenticity of the location, and the local actors and extras, that really makes this film stand out, and the making-of shows exactly where that authenticity comes from. Many of those who appear in it are still living under the spell of hatred which motivates the characters in the fictional story. Of course it takes a great director like Villeneuve to transform this kind of atmosphere into a work of art like this film, but hearing the unvarnished testimony of those who live in this war-torn region is a real bonus. This is a great DVD in both respects.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incendies Sept. 11 2012
Responding to the notes of other reviewers, At least in my copy, purchased in Toronto in 2011Incendies, the sub-titles are available, if you first choose the French version, instead of the English overdub. This is an excellent movie, with fine acting, strong direction and a haunting story. This is a very powerful and unusual film, not to be missed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incendies, the DVD Nov. 5 2011
By Rutney
Incendies is the 45th film produced in Quebec that I have ordered in the past five years and is clearly one of the best. I am glad that it was finally available with English subtitles and for several reasons. I watched it the fist time with French subtitles and because of this and because of the Québec accent I missed a great deal of the plot and found everything somewhat confusing. Then I read a synopsis of the story that I found on line and watched it again, this time with English subtitles. At this point I clearly understood everything. What a dramatic finish, to say the least!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent film. April 27 2011
This film is very compelling. Thank goodness that I can read and write French however, as there was no option for English sub-tittles. The captions were in French! Very moving film, and very convincingly done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incendies Feb. 12 2014
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
À partir d’une pièce de Wajdi Mouawad, Denis Villeneuve en a fait une adaptation époustouflante au cinéma.
Le film a été sélectionné dans la catégorie du meilleur film en langue étrangère en vue de la 83e cérémonie des Oscars. Il est considéré comme un des 10 meilleurs films de 2011 par le New York Times.

L’intrigue du film est basée sur une guerre de religion. Tous les coups sont permis incluant la torture. Un film qui nous tient en halène tout au long de la projection.

C’est un incontournable, à voir absolument.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Incendies DVD does not english subtitles March 15 2011
I loved this film when it came out and have recommended it to many people. But I just bought the DVD and will be returning it. The film played in most theatres outside of Quebec with English subtitles. But there are only French subtitles on the DVD (Bluray). Really curious why someone would do that. Really disappointing as well.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wow... In my top 5 movies
Published 15 days ago by jsshaker
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
parfait merci
Published 16 days ago by larochelle
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST WATCH!
One of the best movies I dare say I've ever seen. I've watched it multiple times and have used it with my grade 12 high school French classes. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amanda Culver
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good item
Published 3 months ago by MichelV
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film!
J'ai vraiment aimé ce film pour son histoire et pour tous les acteurs et toutes les actrices! Quelle belle performance!
Published 5 months ago by D. Landry
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Canadian movie
Although I had heard many good things about this film, I was not expecting it to be so good. This is destined to be a classic.
Published 8 months ago by Paul M.
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT "Bilingual" !
I have ordered the Bilingual version and although I have tried different players , was only in French! Extremely disappointed!!!
Published 9 months ago by DR.FREDERIK STRAUSS
5.0 out of 5 stars super bien fais très bon film recommandé
Un film qui nous fais voir un côté différent de la guerre, approche clair du cinéaste et un grand succès assurer.
Published 10 months ago by Marcus
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Another great film from Quebec. A well crafted story with great acting and a surprising ending that stays with you for days.
Published 15 months ago by Pamela Thurston
5.0 out of 5 stars un mot wow!!!
le meilleur film à mon avis(d`autant plus qu`il est quebecois)depuis longtemps qui a été produit. Read more
Published 16 months ago by michelle laliberte
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