Incendies

A will is read. after her death, Montreal secretary Nawal Marwan (Lubna Azabal) has requested that her adult children — twins Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) and Simon (Maxim Gaudette) — deliver two sealed letters to the father and brother they never knew existed.

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That's the hook that will lead you into Incendies, a devastating mystery thriller from Quebec filmmaker Denis Villeneuve that grabs you hard and won't let go. Though the film moves from Canada to the Middle East and involves rape, murder and genocide, the crucial territory covered is fixed in the heart. Adapted from a play by the Lebanese-born Wajdi Mouawad, the film gathers momentum from its images, including the three dots Nawal tattooed on the heel of her missing son. I'll say no more. Incendies is best opened fresh. But there's no way that you'll get it out of your dreams.

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