Incendies – Movie Review

Rating: 4.5/5

What IMDB says –



Disturbing, gripping, revealing.

The story starts from societal issue of the protagonist, Nawal Marwan, being a single mother and traverses through various emotions, hardships and stark realities of the world, her world.

The notary officer, for whom Nawal worked for 18 years as a secretary, delivers two envelopes to her kids, the twin brother and sister, after she dies of a stroke. One envelope reads “For your father” and the other reads “For your brother”. The kids are in a shock after they come to know that they have another brother. The boy, having hatred in his heart for their mother, denies doing anything with those envelopes and thinks of moving on with their lives. However the sister is sensitive and thinks of following the trail back to their mother’s past and dig the links as their mother’s last wish. The story starts from here.

The plot is set in an imaginary place named “Daresh”. After being impregnated by her lover and after her family comes to know about this, her brothers kill her lover and almost killed Nawal too. The grandmother somehow pities on her and asks her to deliver the child. The grandmother then asks her to leave the village and move to town, without the kid as she gives away the kid, the village not being safe for Nawal anymore. Nawal moves into city, starts working with University’s radio station, learns French but the desire to find the whereabouts of her child is still burning within her. With the same desire she starts tracking back her child and comes to know that the kid was given to an orphanage in South (a place dreaded to be full with extremists).

She then gets caught for killing a Nationalist politician and spends 15 years in jail. The movie talks about her sufferings while being a single mother, being away from her child, being in jail and being in a society so full with hatred and revenge. Her ordeal in keeping a secret, facing the torture and yet forgive the torturer, a shocking revelation at the end and above all be rational about everything is captured very beautifully in the movie. The movie also shows us what kind of world surrounds us and we have no idea of. See this movie to watch what a woman have to go through in a life in extreme situations and what being a mother means. Not surprised that the movie was nominated for Oscar in 2011 and has won Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.